If you make Scotland your home, you’re one of us

IMMIGRATION is great for Scotland. Hardly a contentious statement, or so you’d think based on our enriched communities, ageing population, and the fact that EU citizens contribute billions more to the economy than they use in public services.

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First published in The National, 21 November 2019

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First Minister joins Alyn in Stirling

SNP Leader Nicola Sturgeon visited businesses at Stirling Enterprise Park yesterday (Tuesday 19 Nov) alongside Alyn Smith MEP, SNP candidate for Stirling in the 2019 General Election.

Alyn, Nicola Sturgeon, and owner Iain at Perthshire Preserves.

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12,000 Stirling residents have received Crisis Grants

Stirling SNP MSP Bruce Crawford and SNP Westminster candidate for Stirling Alyn Smith MEP have hit out at Tory welfare reforms following the revelation that almost 12,000 people in the Stirling area have received a Crisis Grant from the Scottish Welfare Fund. 
Alyn Smith MEP and Bruce Crawford MSP outside the Job Centre in Stirling
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Scotland in Europe Update: 15th November 2019

Last night at 5pm the European Commission launched infringement proceedings against the UK, following its failure to name a candidate for EU Commissioner. The UK authorities have until Friday 22 November to respond.

In many ways this case epitomises the UK Government’s approach to Brexit. The UK could have appointed somebody, been a good European ally to our friends and neighbours and carried on with the business of a general election. Excuses have been offered that the appointment couldn’t be made during purdah when political activity is restricted, but the reality is we have known about this for a long time. In fact, we recall discussing it shortly after Aileen and Christian first arrived in Brussels as MEPs, which feels like a long time ago!

 

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SNP Women's Pledge

I have had two enquiries asking for my view on a pledge circulating, and given the wider interest in my view, I am happy to reply publicly.

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SNP politicians demand real living wage

Stirling SNP MSP Bruce Crawford and SNP Westminster candidate for Stirling Alyn Smith have voiced their support for Living Wage Week. 

Alyn Smith MEP and Bruce Crawford MSP in Stirling City Centre

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Scotland in Europe Update: 8th November 2019

As the UK heads into another election the EU and the Scottish Government are continuing to get on with the day job. The contrast is stark but underneath the tag line there is also a serious point. The UK apparatus has proven itself to be totally unfit for the purpose of governing since 2016. The House of Commons has spent its time arguing about brexit, the government tasking civil servants to prepare for the nightmare of no deal. None of this is useful, nor is it what people in Scotland – or the rest of the UK, for that matter – asked for or want.

As the campaign for Westminster gets under way, what has the Scottish Government been doing? Well, helping end our throwaway culture. Businesses, industry and individuals are being encouraged to seize on the nation’s talent for innovation by re-thinking how we use and reuse materials through a newly proposed legislation on the circular economy. As well as introducing new measures to cut litter and waste, this legislation is part of wider plans to ensure we make better, more environmentally sound use of materials and develop Scotland’s circular economy.

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Scotland in Europe Update: 1st November 2019

An election will finally decide it. We now face a choice. A hard Brexit that Scotland didn’t vote for under the Tories, or the SNP to stand up for Scotland’s EU membership.

If you haven’t already registered to vote, it’s absolutely vital that you do so. Even if you have, make sure you’re still on the register.
gov.uk/register-to-vote

Let’s be realistic about what we do and don’t know. Polling is worth nothing (well almost nothing) until the issue is actually before voters. That means nothing can be taken for granted and the only vote that matters is the one at the end of the race. As MEPs we are out and about across Scotland more than most and we know folk are tired. The broken politics of Westminster mean that once again we must all vote to protect Scotland’s place in Europe.

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CAP funding returned after years of UK Government delay

Stirling farmers and crofters will benefit from the first instalment of convergence funding – addressing a “historic injustice” against which the SNP government has long campaigned.

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Scotland in Europe Update: 25th October 2019

It has been a long week. Only last Saturday MPs were voting on the Prime Minster’s new deal, then a Withdrawal Bill, then back to the Queen’s speech. The palace on the Thames continues to spit out events that seem to bring neither clarity nor progress.

Nobody knows what will happen next. Largely because nobody is in control. The UK Government has no majority, the Labour party is divided, and Scotland is simply being dragged along as an afterthought. A couple of important developments are worth mentioning.

Firstly, it now seems we will have an extension since Parliament forced the PM into asking. That means that in all likelihood this is not your final Scotland in Europe Update from your SNP MEPs. It is not yet guaranteed and crucially we do not yet know how long for but it seems more than likely we will be here a little longer.

Secondly, there is increasing pressure for a general election. To be clear, the SNP is in favour of holding an election as soon as possible to rid us of this Tory government. We will not support it however if there is any chance Johnson can use the period to deliver a no deal Brexit.

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