Scotland in Europe Update 26th January 2018

This week has been a little quieter than last as the politicians and civil servants in Brussels begin to get ready for the next few months. Channel 4 released a draft of the EU’s negotiating guidelines for the Brexit transition:
channel4.com/...

There are no surprises here for anyone who has been paying attention. As I have said before, the fantasies of Leave supporters are going to have a hard collision with reality, this document proves that in black and white for all to see. The EU position has always been - and continues to be - clear, pragmatic and consistent. Brexit is a British problem, not a European one, and the priority of all the other member states is the coherence of the bloc as a whole.

Over the next few months the choices that must be taken have profound consequences. Currently, the UK government’s foolish red lines mean that we are looking – at best – at a Canada style deal that will be hugely damaging to Scotland.

The Canada model is a particularly poor choice for services, which, as the CBI have pointed out, make up 80% of the UK economy. Even for manufacturing, there will need to be proof of origin systems in place to track components and completed products. Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn of the CBI said earlier this week that “the Canada-deal rules of origin are as long as The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe – and a lot less fun to read.”

I couldn’t have put it better myself!


The CBI called for the UK to remain in the Customs Union. This is a position they now share with Scottish Government who have consistently argued for such an arrangement.
cbi.org.uk/news/...

This handy guide to the leaked EU27 negotiation position from Professor Steve Peers, University of Essex is well worth a read.
eulawanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/...

Thomas Donohue, the chief executive and president of the US Chamber of Commerce Ireland, has said that Ireland will have a far more significant role post Brexit.
irishtimes.com/...

Caithness Chamber of Commerce is now home to Scotland’s only Europe Direct Information Centre, offering residents of the North Highlands & Islands access to information regarding the EU.
caithnesschamber.com/EDIC

Here is a heart-breaking account of an EU citizen moving back to France because of the EU referendum (in French).
huffingtonpost.fr/...

There has been a lot of disagreement inside the Tory Party this week. For sanity’s sake I do not intend to produce a blow-by-blow account here but since UK policy is currently dictated by their squabbles we do need to keep an eye on it. This article from Politico is a good summary of where we are.
politico.eu/...

Scottish Further and Higher Education Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville has backed a campaign to keep Erasmus+
twitter.com/...

The UK has still not produced a position paper on financial services.
ft.com/...

France is hiring more customs officers to cope with the consequences of Brexit.
uk.reuters.com/...

JP Morgan could move more than 4,000 jobs out of the UK.
uk.reuters.com/...

Paris is increasing the number of language schools in an attempt to lure the financial sector from London to Paris.
telegraph.co.uk/...

The EU is moving ahead with strengthening anti-dumping and anti-subsidy regulations. In an uncertain world this is more important than ever.
europa.eu/...

The EU Commission has released two internal notes discussing ‘Security, Defence and Foreign Policy’ and ‘Police and Judicial Cooperation’.
ec.europa.eu/...
ec.europa.eu/...

There are fears that the UK could be excluded from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) after it leaves the EU.

euractiv.com/...

The decision to leave the EU is costing the UK £200m every week in lost growth, according to Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England.
thetimes.co.uk/...

The New York Times reporting from Davos has said that because of Brexit: “an uncomfortable reality has been sinking in. Britain’s stature on the world stage has diminished, and its economy has sagged.”
nytimes.com/...

Finally, it was with great sadness the European Parliament decided how to re-arrange itself after the departure of Scotland and the rest of the UK’s MEPs.
politico.eu/...