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Scotland in Europe Update 29th September 2017

After Brexit talks were postponed to allow the UK time to get its act together, some progress is reported in the latest round of UK-EU talks. The EU’s Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier said there were still “big gaps” between the sides, but the key issue of citizens’ rights has at last seen some agreement. Reality is dawning for the Brexiteers.

Just this week, the US slapped a tariff duty of 219% on Bombardier - the aircraft manufacturer which employs 4000 people in Northern Ireland - leading Prime Minister Theresa May to appeal directly to President Trump to intervene and hinting that the UK will stop ordering US Boeing planes. That post-Brexit free trade deal with the US is looking weak and wobbly, as is the relationship between the Conservatives and the DUP.

I hope that this is the beginning of a frank discussion around Brexit. It’s not too late to reassess our place in Europe. French President Emmanuel Macron warned that the EU has to reinvent itself and “give Europe back to its citizens” so perhaps this rejuvenated EU and a referendum on the Brexit deal will meet at the crossroads:


The Scottish and UK governments are still a long way from striking a deal over Brexit, with the Scottish Government resisting the Westminster “power grab”.

Donald Tusk met with Theresa May and welcomed the Prime Minister’s “constructive and more realistic” tone.

Michel Barnier says it could still take months before Brexit talks make enough progress to move onto discussing the future EU-UK relationship.

Germany’s Deutsche Welle has an interesting piece here on Theresa May’s Florence speech.

As does Fabian Zuleeg over at the European Policy Centre.

Ditto Marina Hyde, in a brilliantly acerbic piece for the Guardian.

Politico reports that the European Parliament is willing to play ‘bad cop’ to defend Citizens’ Rights.

While the CBI and the TUC have released a joint statement condemning the uncertainty that “15 months of human poker” has caused for EU and UK citizens.

Brexit Secretary David Davis has confirmed that the UK could introduce visas for Poland, Romania, and Bulgaria.

Brexit will mean UK toxicologists will no longer be obliged to follow Europe’s food safety regime.

Heidi Allen in the Telegraph warns that child refugees must not be forgotten once the UK no longer has to comply with the EU’s Dublin III Regulation.

“Some party members see the EU as a capitalist club, others want a second referendum” – a very interesting piece here on Labour and Brexit.

Former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has joined calls for a referendum on the terms of the final Brexit deal.

The Brexit Department lost 20% of its staff in 14 months – a total of 124 civil servants.

London businesses are proposing a free trade deal on financial services after Brexit.

Sir Philip Lowe, former Director-General of Energy at the European Commission, writes that the post-Brexit UK will have to invest more in new electricity generating capacity.

And finally, there’s been a sharp increase in the number of UK citizens applying for citizenship in other EU countries.