So amidst the noise, silly season rumours, and gossip of the summer it is worth stepping back this week and looking at the bigger picture for a moment. Whatever the debates about what the EU should and shouldn’t be doing there has always been one thing at its core: trade.
The EU is one of the world’s largest trading blocs (by some counts the world’s largest, it all depends on how you measure trade). This matters as it means that – in the dog eat dog domain of the World Trade Organization – we stand together, ensuring our voice is heard. The brutal reality is that once you are in Geneva, size and negotiating power are all that matter. The EU delivers for Scotland because it is such a big trading bloc.
You can see this in the deals it is currently negotiating. Now as many of you know, we in the SNP have had our issues with some of the EU’s trade deals, but the reality is they are infinitely better than anything the UK could negotiate alone. Just one example is that earlier this week Australia released the list of geographic protections that the EU is seeking to secure. Guess what? Scotch Beef, Scotch Lamb, Scottish farmed Salmon and Scotch Whisky are all on it.
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
Welcome to my latest Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) update.
The SNP MEPs (myself and Ian Hudghton) have set out clear red lines and we will not compromise upon them. The NHS and other public services must be clearly carved out, European standards must not be compromised and corporations must not be given any special rights to sue governments that pursue policies they disagree with.
The SNP's Members of the European Parliament have today written to European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager repeating calls for a full EU investigation into the tax payment settlement between HMRC and Google UK.Read more
It may be Christmas but the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) does not stop for festivities, and there have been a few developments - some good, some bad - here in Brussels.
Today SNP Members of the European Parliament Alyn Smith and Ian Hudghton voted to protect the freedom of Internet users.
Unfortunately the Parliament voted against various amendments to the flawed European Telecom Single Market (TSM) Package. As passed this compromises the principle of Internet neutrality that should ensure all information is treated equally.Read more
Alyn Smith announces letter from Nicola Sturgeon urging David Cameron to veto TTIP if the NHS is not exempted
Alyn Smith, SNP Member of the European Parliament, announced at the 2015 SNP Conference a letter from Nicola Sturgeon to the UK Government urging David Cameron to use his veto in the EU Council to stop the Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) if the NHS is not explicitly exempted.Read more
Locally manufactured goods and handicraft products should be given EU-wide protection, declared MEPs in Strasbourg today.Read more
Scotland’s farmers gained significant support yesterday as Alyn Smith MEP won strong backing from Agriculture MEPs for tough legislative action against Unfair Trading Practices (UTPs).Read more