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Scotland in Europe update: Full EU membership is Scotland's best option

This week the European Parliament got back to business after the summer recess and set about assessing what had been, or rather hadn’t been, achieved in the negotiations that had taken place over the summer. President Tajani’s comments say it all:

"Given the current state of play of negotiations and the current position of the UK, it would seem very difficult that sufficient progress can be achieved by October on separation issues in order to enter phase 2 of the negotiations. In this case I would think it wise for the European Council to postpone this point to its December meeting."

Brexit is not inevitable, not when the people supposedly in charge of it don’t know what they want, those opposed to it can’t agree on an alternative and we in Scotland don’t want it at all and voted clearly and decisively to reject it.

I’m in a luckier position than many MEPs in that my constituency, the whole of Scotland, voted to remain in every counting region, from Shetland to Stranraer. My instructions are to keep us in

So I’ll repeat here what I’ve already promised myself, my team, and the public: I will not be complicit in an act of national self-harm, especially one that is so demonstrably against the interest of the people I serve. EU membership is best for Scotland. Let’s not be browbeaten into acquiescence.

Yours aye, 


The transparency of the European Parliament continues as the Brexit Strategy Group released this analysis of how the citizens’ rights part of the negotiation are proceeding. The lack of progress in this area is key and without serious efforts from the UK, it is unlikely that the talks will move forward.

Unfortunately, the UK is hell-bent on stripping EU citizens of their rights. After, sending out deportation letters last week the Home Office excelled itself again when (via a leak to the Guardian) we all got a taste of what the UK government plans for the future. Having read the paper outlining a future immigration system for EU nationals, I am bereft. It is the only Brexit paper that reads authentic Mrs May.

Europe has reacted in horror. The EU will stand up for citizens rights which in the face of the UK government’s plans is more important than ever. Guy Verhofstadt’s response was accurate: “UK's leaked immigration plans have poisoned the diplomatic well. EU & UK citizens deserve stability & certainty”

The UK correspondent for Le Monde remarked that the leak showed how the drawbridge was being raised.

Russell Hargrave wrote an excellent piece on how this was May’s ‘hostile environment’ 2.0 and how really we should not be too surprised.

Phantom Power have put together a short video containing the views of a Scot in the EU and an EU national in Scotland.

 “Ireland’s concerns are the union’s concerns, and all member states and EU institutions are fully united in this regard.” So said Michel Barnier, lead EU negotiator, to the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney.

An illustration of how close they are is that when the EU Commission released its latest position paper on Northern Ireland, the link to more information on the Common Travel Area is to the Irish Government.

The Leave vote was “stupid” but could be stopped, according Martin Selmayr, the chief of staff to European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

86% of the UK wants the number of high-skilled EU migrants to remain steady or increase further, according to a survey from the British Future think tank.

Tory MPs have been using taxpayers’ cash to fund a secretive hard-Brexit group.

The UK construction industry is 'flirting with recession' because of the vote to leave.

“Your employment rights could be put at risk through Brexit” says of Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary

Liam Fox has confessed that Britain does not have capacity to strike trade deals and so intends to just copy EU deals.

The very heart of the Westminster system is divided against itself, and Scotland and Wales are united against this awful Brexit legislation.

The Scottish Centre on European Relations published an excellent piece on Northern Ireland and Territorial Differentiation by Dr Katy Hayward and Professor David Phinnemore

Breaking up families is easy, concludes this LSE Brexit blog from Dr Katya Ivanova and Georgiana Turculet.

“The tiresome cheeriness of Brexit minister David Davis cannot disguise his own slender grasp of detail or the lack of Conservative cabinet cohesion on the overall Brexit strategy.” This is the damning conclusion of Andrew Duff of the European Policy Centre.

Last but not least, Professor Alan Miller has published an excellent piece on human rights, social protections and Brexit in Green’s Scottish Human Rights Journal. This article is well worth a read and gives plenty of food for thought.