SNP MEP Alyn Smith has today used a major European Parliament debate to remind the EU of the case for Scottish independence.
During a debate in the European Parliament ahead of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, Alyn reminded MEPs that Scotland shares common European values with its neighbours in the EU, yet faces being dragged out of the family of nations via a hard Brexit.
Today was the first major constitutional debate in the European Parliament since First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that she will seek to request a second referendum on Scottish Independence.
Alyn’s speech is as follows:
“Chers collègues, cari colleghi,
“I represent Scotland within this house, and the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome is somewhat bittersweet from our perspective.
“It is right that we should celebrate our common values – solidarity, co-operation, multilateralism, the acknowledgment that any problem that we face is bigger than any one country. However big. However small.
“But it’s also right that we should reflect on just how fragile those values and that process truly are.
“Trust me, the ingredients for Brexit exist in every one of our European countries. We cannot be complacent.
“I will be in Rome also next weekend, marching alongside you, working with you, to celebrate and defend our European values, because Scotland shares those European values and those values must be defended.
“And Scotland, colleagues, faces the prospect of being removed from our family of nations against our clearly expressed, democratic will. It’s not fair.
“If the EU is not a community of justice and law and democracy, what are we for?
“You’ll be aware, of course, that this week the government of Scotland has put the question of independence back on the table. We do that out of complete frustration at the intransigence of the UK Government.
“President Tusk, where you say that the EU will not be intimidated by threats from the London government, I assure you, neither will Scotland.
“We will not be intimidated. We will not be silent within this process.
“We are citizens, not subjects.
“We will not be passive bystanders. Independence is one of many possible futures. I believe solutions can be found. We will look to our friends and our allies.”
MEPs were discussing the outcome of last week's European Council and the forthcoming 'Rome Declaration' with EU Council President Donald Tusk, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
The 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome falls on 25 March this year. The Treaty, signed on 25th March 1957, led to the creation of the European Economic Community and came into force on 1st January 1958.
Alyn’s speech is available to view on his YouTube channel.