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
Alyn Smith MEP, Scottish member of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, has led a key report on Hong Kong twenty years after the UK’s handover to China, which was adopted by the European Parliament in Strasbourg today with an overwhelming majority of 490 out of 589.
I FELT and still do feel heartsick watching the events unfold in Catalonia. I also feel let down and dispirited by the response of the international community. Never has it been more clear that states do not have permanent friends or values, they only have permanent interests. Realpolitik is a cold, ugly thing to see in action.
First published in The National, 06 October 2017Read 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
THERESA May’s official visit to Canada this Monday was a fiasco. Hastily organised on the premise of the UN summit in New York, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was polite enough to host his UK counterpart, yet no agreement on trade was reached.
First published in The National, 20 September 2017Read more
IN the last few months I’ve grown really weary of unthinking tribalism in Scottish politics. Like many SNP types, I started my political journey identifying most closely with the Labour Party. I never joined the party, as my time in Brussels and London that crystallised my view that Scotland could be better independent, but I still rejoiced at the 1997 election when Tony Blair’s Labour swept away the Tories. I joined the SNP the week after. It turns out 20 years is a long time in politics!
But I say all that to prove that I’m up for coalitions.
First published in The National, 2 August 2017Read more
Scotland in Europe Update: 26th May 2017: Scotland in Europe Update: Flags fly half-mast for Manchester
In a sad week, the outrage which took place in Manchester is almost beyond comprehension. It goes without saying that our thoughts have been with the victims, their families and friends, and the emergency services. Across the EU flags were lowered and people gathered to pay their respects and emphasise their solidarity:Read more
Alyn Smith, SNP Member of the European Parliament, has today repeated the call for the EU to respect the wishes of the Scottish public to remain within "our European family" and to act now to protect the rights of citizens.Read more
The Scottish National Party (SNP) Member of the European Parliament Alyn Smith MEP has delivered a speech yesterday evening in the European Parliament, in Strasbourg, France, over the alarming situation of LGBTi rights and the EU guidelines to protect and uphold them, particularly in the aftermath of the revelations of LGBTi “purges” in Chechnya, Russia. The debate took place on the occasion of the international day against homophobia, transphobia and biphobia.Read more
LIKE many, I was delighted by the result in the local elections seeing so many hard-working folk elected to positions of real responsibility in the service of their communities. It was great to see. But there was also the result over the weekend from France, where Centrist Emmanuel Macron won a decisive victory over the Front National’s Marine Le Pen in the French Presidential election, 66 per cent to 34 per cent. Good news for Europe, bad news for the fascists, even if the fact they were in the second round at all should give us pause. But a win is a win is a win, and after the seemingly endless gut punch that was 2016, we can be forgiven for focusing on a bit of cheery news for a change.
First published in The National, 10 May 2017Read more