This week the Prime Minister and his fellow Brexiters have been busy. Not busy preparing the ground to stop Brexit, or busy preparing for the no deal they claim they want, but very busy blaming everybody else for the what they are about to inflict on us.
Ian Duncan Smith was blaming the establishment and Michael Gove the EU. Obviously, blaming the Irish is the not so subtle background undertone to all of this. The backstop was created to protect the Good Friday Agreement which continues to be a highly successful international treaty that the UK should be supporting.
Instead the government is stoking division and trying to split the Irish from their EU allies. It won’t work. The solidarity between the EU27 is far too strong for that. Equally, this UK Government cannot simply ignore what was agreed in good faith by its predecessor, neither can it simply pretend that the border on the island of Ireland can be fixed with magical, hitherto not invented, technology.
We must all be careful over the months to come. The blame game is now in full swing. The UK Government can at any time stop this but they are choosing not to and whenever a minister says they are being forced into a course of action remember that choice.
Meanwhile, in cheerier news, a major poll at the weekend showed that a majority in Scotland support independence and want a second referendum. This is good news, though not the end game. Polls like this have been and gone before so we must all work together to build on it. We can start doing that in the upcoming Shetland byelection.
Christian was campaigning there last weekend. As he said whilst he was there: “Boris Johnson and his band of hard-right Brexiteers are determined to drag Scotland out of the EU regardless of the consequences to our economy – ending freedom of movement in the process. EU nationals living in Shetland should use this by-election to send Boris Johnson a message.”
We hope all the people of Shetland send Boris a message by electing a SNP MSP.
Your SNP European Group,
Alyn, Christian and Aileen
Earlier this week there was some sad news as the UK announced it would be leaving interrail. Whilst technically nothing to do with the EU it could not come at a worse time.
Alyn wrote to the secretary of transport and joined with many others from across the political spectrum to condemn this short-sighted decision.
And… we won! The decision has been reversed. A small victory but let us hope a harbinger of bigger victories yet to come.
David Howarth has put together a must read piece on how MPs can stop a no deal Brexit if they choose to.
The Guardian has a very good interview with Nicola Sturgeon: ‘if we crash out with no deal, Corbyn will be almost as responsible as May or Johnson’
The Scottish Government has further increased its no deal preparation.
There are more details of Holyrood’s independence poll in their coverage.
Blomberg also concluded this week that: “The clamour for Scottish independence – and the possibility of a vote in Northern Ireland to reunite with Ireland – will only grow in proportion to the disruption that Brexit brings.”
Almost £8 million of funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) has been announced to help people and nature in some of the most deprived parts of Scotland.
The European Parliament Research Service has produced a guide to the work the European Parliament has done to ensure the promotion of renewable energy.
Delaying Brexit has meant disruption to the European Parliament. There are now a set of MEPs awaiting the UK’s departure before they can take up their seats. The remarkable thing? They would give up being an MEP to stop Brexit.
Citizens Advice Scotland is now offering even more support to EU, EEA and Swiss nationals as they work through their UK settlement applications.
The UK Government’s hostile environment has seen a surge in the number of EU nationals being refused universal credit.
And finally, Alyn’s national column for the week highlights the UK government’s continued indefinite detention of migrants. No other country in the EU has indefinite detention of migrants. Irrespective of Brexit the UK Government can and must do better.