In Scotland, we won the EU referendum, emphatically and beyond doubt, and in every community from Shetland to Stranraer. I shared platforms up and down the nation in more meetings than I can remember with decent folk from all politics and none, Labour, Greens, LibDems and Tories, putting aside our differences to work on what we agree are Scotland's best interests.Read more
So, in just two days we will have a vote on remaining within the EU, or not, after what has been the worst campaign I’ve ever been involved in. Everything about it has been star crossed from the start, with the dreadful murder of Jo Cox MP shocking us all. I’d add my own voice to the many expressing their condolences.
First published in The National, 21 June 2016Read more
There's the old joke about the American tourist lost in Ireland, who asks a local for directions to be told: “Ach bejaysus, if I was going to Tipperary I wouldn’t start out from here”. Right there, that’s how I feel about this EU Referendum. We didn’t ask for it, we certainly didn’t want it right after the Holyrood election, and even the way it is playing out is pretty unappealing, with the echoes of Project Fear unmistakable to a Scottish ear. “A plague on both your houses” is an entirely rational response.
First published in The National, 14 June 2016Read more
I’m excited to start a weekly column in The National. Two things motivate my politics: anger at the gross unfairness that engrained poverty holds so many of us back; and Scotland in the world, the country we could be, making a real difference beyond our shores.
First published in The National, 7 June 2016Read more
By the time you read this I’ll be back in Brussels, but pretty sure I’ll still be raw from the cold, bleak feeling of powerlessness as I watched my country vote to stay, and parts of England I had barely heard of vote to leave. Scotland wants to remain, that is clear. We also have an SNP government and team that will work flat out to do what’s best for Scotland.
First published in The Sunday Herald, 18 October 2015Read more
EU policy has "grave consequences for Scotland"Read more
Attitudes to the EU are almost exactly opposite in England and Scotland, a groundbreaking study by the IPPR, University of Edinburgh and University of Cardiff has found. Fully 50% of English voters would vote to leave the EU, with 33% voting to remain, with the figure in Scotland almost exactly inverted with 53 per cent of Scots would vote in a referendum to stay in the EU and 34 per cent to leave.Read more
Speaking after David Cameron’s statement of intent on Europe today, SNP MEP Alyn Smith said: “This wasn’t a speech made to defend Scotland’s or the UK’s position in Europe. It was aimed purely at appeasing the fantasyland Europhobes who now make up a depressingly large and growing part of the Conservative Party.Read more
A leading expert on the European Union has today [Tuesday] backed up the Scottish Government’s position that an independent Scotland would remain in the EU, as the Commission would adopt a "common-sense approach" to cause the “least disruption” to the EU.Read more