This site is archived.
For Alyn's work as MP for Stirling visit

Scotland in Europe Update 20th April 2018

Another week of technical negotiations has passed with what seemed to be little to report - until this morning!

The UK finally decided to put forward a proposal to solve the Irish border problem but was told to go back to the drawing board after the half-baked attempt was subjected to "a systematic and forensic annihilation" which concluded "none of the UK’s customs options will work." You can read more here:

The EU’s rejection of the UK’s magical thinking is hardly surprising (at least to anyone who has been reading these updates!). I wrote about the reality that the UK faces a couple of weeks ago and I stand by my conclusion: a hard Brexit is not compatible with an open border on the island of Ireland. You can re-read my rundown of the situation here:

These problems will not just go away by themselves. Ireland needs and deserves answers, and the remaining EU26 stand shoulder to shoulder with their fellow member state. If only Scotland were in such a position. Instead, the UK Government - our supposed partner in the UK - is taking the Scottish Government to court over the Continuity Bill which was designed to protect devolution. It is worth remembering a similar bill was also passed by the Welsh Assembly and had broad support from across the political spectrum.

Although things have seemed quiet over the last couple of weeks, we are reaching a crunch point. Soon we will know precisely how important the Scottish Parliament is in the UK and how little of a Brexit plan the UK has.

Don’t be surprised to see an awful lot of Brexiters saying that Brexit would have been fine if only it had been done their way. Indeed, the front page of the Spectator says as much!

We need to challenge them on this at every step. Leaving the EU is a bad thing – full stop. The UK is doing a bad thing badly but that doesn’t lessen the folly of the decision to leave in the first place.



The House of Lords defeated the UK Government’s Great Repeal Bill and instead passed an amendment in favour of remaining in the Customs Union.

I wrote a piece for the National emphasising that leaving the EU will add to our problems in trying to handle the fallout from Cambridge Analytica.

Prospect has a good piece on the MEPs fighting to stop Brexit.

The Prime Minister delivered a speech to Commonwealth leaders in which she argued a key part of the organisation is international trade.

As I said last week, the Commonwealth is for games, not trade!

I’ve joined 17 other MEPs in writing to Liam Fox expressing our concern for the future of our farmers, and the real risk of standards being traded away by a UK Government desperate to get any deal it can.

Ian Dunt has written an excellent column showing how the UK Home Office policies are what happen when anti-immigrant hysteria takes over.

And, as Tanja Bueltmann rightly asks, why would EU citizens trust the Home Office to look after them?

Jaguar Land Rover are cutting 1,000 jobs because of Brexit.

Once again David Davis has had to give way to Brussels, this time on the timing of future trade negotiations.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said that, in light of the UK leaving the EU, there should be joint cabinet meetings between the UK and Ireland to maintain good relations between the two countries after Brexit.

The Institute for Government has produced a study on the UK Parliament’s role in the approval of the withdrawal deal and future framework

And finally, the Scottish Centre for European Research have produced an excellent collection of essays assessing where the Brexit negotiations are