So, the results are in and the European Parliament has a new President in the form of David Sassoli, a MEP from Italy’s centre-left Democratic Party. Sassoli, of the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group in the Parliament will serve for two and a half years, then a MEP from the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) will pick up the baton. The S&D is the second-largest group, the EPP the largest, and so the mill-wheel of parliament keeps democracy flowing along.Read more
This week is a turning point for us here in Brussels. After 21 years of service, Ian Hudghton has left the building. He has put in a brilliant shift for Scotland and we know that we will see him in Brussels and out on the campaign trail in Scotland soon.
Meanwhile, the three of us were back to work (twitter.com/...).
Next week, for the first time, an SNP European Group of three MEPs will travel to Strasbourg, and we will be taking part in the opening session of the new parliament. Christian and Aileen will formally become MEPs and the real work begins.
While Brexit takes up all the political bandwidth in the UK, the conversations in Brussels have been focussed on who will be next Presidents of the European Parliament, Council and Commission. These decisions must be made before the legislative process can get up and running and the EU can start to get on with enacting the wishes of the people of Europe.Read more
So we have our answer. After the various rounds of voting we now know that Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt will fight it out for the votes of the Tory party members who will then decide who runs the UK. Both have made crass and inaccurate comparisons of the EU in the past (see telegraph.co.uk... and theguardian.com...). Barring something truly bizarre, it means Boris Johnson will lead the UK and make the next key Brexit decisions.
He will be elected by a Tory party membership that is hell-bent on delivering Brexit no matter what. YouGov polling this week showed that a majority were happy to destroy the UK economy and their own party so long as Brexit was delivered. Indeed, in better news 63% were also happy for Scotland to become independent if it means they get to deliver Brexit. You can read the details here: yougov.co.uk/...Read more
The Tories really look like they might actually do it. Maybe they will actually put Boris Johnson in charge of the UK. Certainly, he came out on top in the first round of voting amongst Tory MPs. It is worth remembering that this is the same Boris Johnson who is reportedly refusing to rule out suspending Parliament to force through a no deal and has reinvented himself more times than any of us can remember. Who knows what he will actually do if put in charge, but Scotland did not choose him.
The contest is not done yet but it is worth highlighting something of interest about the tone of the campaign. Nobody is now defending Brexit.
Indeed, in the recent European elections even the Brexit Party weren’t actually defending Brexit. The narrative has shifted as the false promises of the Leave campaign have been exposed and the Brexiters have tacitly accepted that leaving the European Union is a bad idea but because it is the ‘will of the people’ it must be delivered anyway. From here in Scotland this is particularly galling.
How many times must we vote Remain for the UK Government to pay attention?Read more
And so, the hurly burly’s done, the EU election is lost, and – in the SNP’s case – won, won emphatically at that. So, with gratitude for your confidence in us, we get to work.
Your new team of SNP MEPs have already hit the ground running. French national Christian has already been dubbed “M’sieur Ecosse” in corners of the Parliament and we can see it sticking! The clear message Scotland sends its allies – electing a European "New Scot" among your representatives in Europe – is not missed. The contrast with the rest of the UK could not be starker.Read more
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the SNP’s best European election result ever.
The SNP has won in every area of Scotland except Orkney and Shetland, and so this update comes from your three SNP MEPs. Scotland has clearly voted against being taken out of Europe against its will, and instead voted for a party that backs remaining within the European Union.
In Scotland there was a different campaign, different arguments and a different result to the rest of the UK as a whole. The contrast could not be starker, as anybody who has seen a map of the results can see:
You can view the full results in detail at: wikipedia.org/...Read more
So here we are, Theresa May’s deal will apparently face one last vote without any chance of success, and then she will stepdown (or so she says). Frankly, the odds of the deal passing seem vanishingly small, and either way the Tories are now looking at who will succeed her when (and if) she goes.
It is worth remembering that Scotland did not vote for this. The Scottish Parliament has never given consent for Brexit. Scotland voted to Remain. Scotland has certainly never given its consent for a Brexit driven by Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson.Read more
On 7 May 2019 the UK Government finally confirmed that elections for the European Parliament will be held in Scotland on 23 May 2019. No ifs or buts, we are having a European Election.
This means that a further six MEPs will be elected to represent Scotland. MEPs are elected by a form of proportional representation. Voters get to choose which party they want to support, and the number of MEPs each party gets is then calculated using a formula called d'Hondt.
Remember, you vote once, for the party on the list. We've a handy explainer of this (and lots more besides) on the Scotland in Europe website: scotlandineurope.eu/parliamentRead more
As I write the local election results in England are coming through and to me it is clear is that it has been a bad day for the pro-Brexit parties (Tory/Ukip) and the fudgy Brexit party (Labour). The parties that are vocally pro-EU (Greens/Liberal Democrats) did the best. There is a clear and obvious pattern here. Anybody who interprets these results as pro-Brexit is either dishonest or just plain wrong.
So one election down, on to the next one. The European Parliamentary elections. People have been asking me if the election will happen, and what happens if it does. I’m now convinced that it is happening. There was a time, recently, when I thought that Brexiter Corbyn and born-again Leaver May would between them find a form of words to get her disastrous Withdrawal Agreement over the line.Read more