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Scotland in Europe Update 17th November 2017

This week there has been some brilliant news amongst the ongoing chaos of the Brexit Saga.

Minimum Unit Pricing has passed its final legal hurdle and can now become law in Scotland. This will have a real impact: in the first year alone, minimum pricing could prevent 1,600 hospital admissions. You can read more from here:

I would also like to thank all those who have been involved in this case. It has been a long road to get here. I have always disagreed with the Scottish Whisky Association’s case and I am pleased that European law is on our side.

Are you a young person concerned about leaving the EU? If so register to come along to a Brexit Café with me on the 24th November. You can register here (under 30s only I’m afraid):

Hopefully see some of you there!



David Davis has announced that there will be a vote in the House of Commons on the final deal.

The choice is between the UK Government deal and a ‘no deal’… not the best choice (or even a real choice) but as Ian Dunt points out, it does give “MPs an opportunity for Brexit mischief”.

Despite Brexit, the EU has intervened to help UK jobs in the Bombardier trade dispute.

Quentin Peel has written an excellent piece for the Scottish Centre on European Relations outlining Germany’s priorities in the negotiations.

Brexiteer John Redwood has advised people to invest away from the UK.

Guy Verhofstadt, Brexit co-ordinator for the European Parliament, has warned that there has been a breakdown in trust between the EU and UK. (In German.)

The EU Withdrawal Bill has started making its way through the House of Commons. One of the first amendments to fail would have given the Scottish Parliament a vote. Labour and the Conservatives ensured its defeat by 318 votes to 52.

MPs rejected an amendment calling for the continuation of EU protections on animal welfare.

The EU has emphasised that the only realistic model if we leave the Single Market and Customs Union is a basic Canada-style free trade deal. This will be devastating for Scotland and could cost 80,000 jobs.

The difficulties in the negations mean that it is unlikely a transition deal can be secured before October 2018.

Wired has revealed a cache of posts on Twitter which they say shows that there was Russian interference in the referendum.

Peter Ungphakorn has written a fascinating article on what could happen as the UK takes up a role in the WTO.

Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have sent a letter containing a list of Hard Brexit demands to the Prime Minister, according to the Guardian.

Anton Muscatelli has analysed the virtual stalemate in the Brexit talks.

Chris Grey Professor at Royal Holloway, University of London has warned that “every day conducted in these fantasy terms brings us closer either to that possible retreat from hard Brexit or, much more likely, to the chaotic catastrophe of no deal Brexit.”

There are potentially ‘catastrophic’ consequences unless the UK gets its new customs system ready according to the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee.

In Scotland, 34% of EEA Doctors are considering leaving, according to a BMA survey.

Morten Østergaard, leader of the Danish Social Liberal party, has written to EU citizens in the UK urging them to move to Denmark.

The rest of Europe’s recovery is well on the way but because of Brexit the UK is lagging according to the IMF.

There is a great piece in the Irish Times from Fintan O’Toole on the absurdity of an Irish border. Nobody wants it, but Tories are about to deliver one.

There is no special deal for Scotland or Northern Ireland, but the City of London is being promised a special post-Brexit immigration system.

And finally, Labour MEP Richard Corbett has put together an excellent summary of all the work that the European Parliament has done on Brexit so far.