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Scotland in Europe Update 10th August 2018

Has Theresa May been talking to European leaders directly to bypass Michel Barnier? According to Alberto Nardelli, the Prime Minister had a phonecall with her Italian counterpart Guiseppe Conte yesterday – so far, so good – but instead of Number 10 listing it on the official site as it usually does, the Italian call appears to be missing.

According to Nardelli, May was pushing for the other EU member states to go beyond the Full Trade Agreement or EEA options proposed by the EU’s chief negotiator, and this isn’t the only secretive May phonecall to have taken place.

One of the reasons the EU is such a powerful trading and political unit is that 28 is a much larger number than one, and when the EU speaks, it speaks with a single voice following extensive negotiation, compromise, and discussion. For the Prime Minister of one member state to attempt to break this unity, it’s not a good look. While David Cameron put the Conservative party over the best interests of the country, Theresa May appears to be going one better and trying to put the Conservative party over the good of a continent.


There is no good Brexit. As time marches on, the government gets more desperate, and fantasy blurs with reality, this becomes ever more obvious.

Legendary pollster Sir John Curtice has suggested that if there were a second EU referendum, Remain would win. But the really interesting information comes from the polarised results between different groups.

Who knows what will happen in the coming months? Well, it’s clear that the UK Government certainly has no idea. Any fudge they attempt will not be done in our name.



The First Minister has challenged Theresa May to set out a ‘Plan B’ for Brexit.

Awful news about a ‘no-deal’ Brexit, as AstraZeneca warns that cancer patients in the EU may not be able to receive their medicine.

And an open letter to Matt Hancock in the Pharmaceutical Journal calls for an industry-wide medicines task force to protect patients, and for the government to implement the Falsified Medicines Directive. “Quite simply if we don’t, our ability to trade in medicines with Europe will not exist … and the UK could become a dumping ground for the world’s knock-off drugs”.

Loath as I am to give the man even more publicity, we should be very concerned about reports that Boris Johnson has been in contact with Steve Bannon, the man who helped sweep Trump to power on a wave of bile.

The pound was the worst performing currency against the dollar over the past month, and it looks like anxiety over ‘no deal’ is to blame.

Turkey’s lira has fallen and the Eurozone is concerned.

The European Arrest Warrant should continue to apply for as long as the UK is an EU member state, says Advocate General Maciej Szpunar of the European Court of Justice.

The National Farmers’ Union has warned that the country would run out of food in a year if it had to be self-sufficient.

Meanwhile, there’s an interesting piece here from Ruth Watson on Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) and Scottish produce. The EU ensures protection for 14 products in Scotland alone.

In case you missed it, this month saw the publication of the Information Commissioner’s report ‘Democracy Disrupted?’ as part of their ongoing investigation into the use of data analytics for political purposes.

Edinburgh-based asset manager Baillie Gifford is setting up shop in Dublin to protect itself after Brexit.