Scotland's government has announced that it will bring forward legislation to ensure that all EU nationals resident in Scotland maintain their Scottish voting rights in the event that Brexit takes place.
The measure, announced as part of the Programme for Government, builds on the existing policy of the SNP that all residents in Scotland should have the same democratic equality as their neighbours. In the referendum on Scotland's independence all EU nationals resident in Scotland had a right to vote. The Electoral Franchise Bill will also implement reforms to ensure all legal residents, from all countries, will be able to vote.Read more
"WE’LL just revert to WTO terms!” shriek the Brexiteers when challenged that the EU stuff is a bit complex. I’ll let you into a secret: anyone saying that clearly doesn’t understand what they’re talking about and should be quarantined as a dangerous fool.
Scotland’s best interests are emphatically to stay in the EU, but lets look at the reality of WTO membership. If you didn’t like Brussels, wait till you meet Geneva!
First published in The National, 2 August 2018Read more
IN the crazy times we’re enduring it is sometimes difficult to come up with a useful contribution to make to the debate each week, so much is so unclear. But this week I want to try to take a kick at one of the most damaging myths which seems to be emerging: that a no-deal Brexit is somehow a realistic or desirable option. Sadly, we need to go back and examine what “no deal”, “deal” and “Brexit” actually mean, because a lot of folk seem awfy confused.
First published in The National, 25 July 2018Read more
SINCE the EU referendum in 2016, I almost feel like I’ve been walking around with “Scotland voted to Remain” tattooed on my forehead and in my heart, so often am I reminding my friends, colleagues and chunks of the media of this. It’s not a clever-clever argument for Scottish-European exceptionalism – it’s just a fact, and a situation that’s in danger of being railroaded through by this zombie UK Government.
One tiny, tiny glimmer of good news is that we’ve got more people talking about the EU, discussing it, analysing it, and debating whether we can stop Brexit.
First published in The National, 11 April 2018Read more
A ROSE by any other name might still smell as sweet, but what if the price increased by 14 per cent and you had to drive 10 miles to the supermarket because your local florist had been forced to close?
While floristry is a big industry, it’s composed of many small local retailers, all of whom are in serious danger. Not that I’m advocating you rush out right now and buy a bumper bouquet for your nearest and dearest (although we could all do with getting brownie points while we can), but this is just one example of the unforeseen consequences of Brexit.
First published in The National, 4 April 2018Read more
Today the European Parliament approved a position on the future EU-UK relationship by 554 votes to 110 with 51 abstentions.
The resolution sets out Parliament’s input ahead of 22-23 March summit of EU Council when it is expected that guidelines for negotiations on the UK’s future relationship with the EU will be approved. Any deal with the UK will require the approval of the European Parliament.Read more
I’VE noticed lately that more people are getting in touch with me about Brexit, not just raising particular points but expressing their own unhappiness and anxiety generally over the whole thing. The UK Government, in the grip of Brexit Ultras like Jacob Rees-Mogg, has decided to pull the UK, and Scotland with it, over the cliff edge of a hard Brexit.
First published in The National, 22 February 2018Read more
In response to today’s ruling from Lord Doherty in the Outer House of the Court of Session, a spokesperson for the seven Parliamentarians said:
“We note today’s Ruling and will consider the best way forward. The Ruling does not address whether Article 50 is unilaterally revocable, it simply says now is not the right moment to ask. We will make a decision on an appeal to the Inner House shortly.Read more
The European Parliament met yesterday (Tuesday) to debate the state of play of the Brexit negotiations.
During a fruitful discussion in the chamber, SNP MEP Alyn Smith praised the unity of purpose while condemning the UK’s actions thus far as “not good enough”.Read more