The team of SNP Members of the European Parliament have backed the successful EU Commission President, Mrs Ursula von der Leyen in her election in Strasbourg. Dr von der Leyen was elected by 383 votes to 327.
In her hearing before the SNP political Group, Dr von der Leyen proved she has a good understanding of Scottish and UK politics, is a fierce critic of brexit, and will be an articulate and personable ally in turning brexit around.
She is also committed to a gender balanced College of Commissioners, the next stage in the appointments process, whereby each member state will nominate Commissioner. She has committed herself to reject names until she has a gender balanced College. She will then allocate the portfolios and submit them for approval of the European Parliament. in a confirmatory vote in the Autumn.
SNP Group Leader Alyn Smith said:
"We can do business with Dr von der Leyen and we were pleased to support her. Where we are, like many, left pretty cold by the horsetrading amongst the member states that brought her to be before the Parliament, she is a bright, credible and articulate woman and we look forward to working with her.
"I was particularly struck by her commitment to a gender balanced College of Commissioners, this will in itself represent a major culture change and builds upon the experience of the Scottish government.
"She is also committed to real action on climate change, which remains the biggest and growing problem facing our continent and our world, and which can only be tackled by concerted effort. I hope she puts her fine words into action.
"But it remains on brexit that she will be we believe our best ally and has already committed herself to an extension, so long as a good reason can be found for one and there are plenty of those. Scotland voted to remain in the EU referendum, and elected a team of SNP MEPs committed to stop brexit. We believe she will be an important ally in that fight."