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
Alyn Smith MEP, SNP member of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, has been appointed to the prestigious board of "Jewels of the North Atlantic", an organisation seeking to encourage greater cooperation and collaboration across the north Atlantic region, encompassing the USA, Canada, Greenland, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Norway, Denmark and Scotland.Read more
“WHO are you and what are you doing here?” is not really how I’m used to being spoken to when on mission, but I wasn’t going to argue with four men each with a casually slung Kalashnikov to make up for, or perhaps bring on, the lack of manners.
First published in The Sunday Herald, 11 October 2015Read more
Nobel Committee recognise the heroes of the aftermath of the Tunisian Arab Spring.
The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, a coalition of civil society organisations, has won the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011.Read more
SNP MEP Alyn Smith, Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, spoke on behalf of his group on the degrading situation in Syria and the EU's response to it following Russia's airstrikes.Read more
"Tunisia can take a real lead and join the mainstream."
SNP Member of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee Alyn Smith and MEP colleagues German Green Barbara Lochbihler and Swedish Green Bodil Valero have, in Tunis, delivered a letter to the Tunisian Justice Minister Mohamed Ali Ben Aissa urging the immediate release of "Marwan" a 22 year old man sentenced to a year in jail after an anal exam which judges ruled "proved" his criminal sexuality, illegal under Tunisian law.Read more
AS I write this in a pavement café in Barcelona’s Old Town, memories of the energy and energising sense of possibility crackling around Scotland last September have made my eyes a wee bit misty.
I had not even arrived in Catalunya but my excitement was building. At Charles de Gaulle airport, waiting for the Barcelona flight, the couple next to me were having a heated, but friendly exchange. Their neighbours soon joined in, and I’m not sure if my linguistic skills mislead me but I’m sure I detected a certain flirty tone too in among the banter. They swapped numbers as we were called to board.
First published in The Sunday Herald 27 September 2015Read more
Alyn Smith MEP, who is heading to Catalunya on an observation mission for the elections this coming Sunday, has written to President Jean-Claude Juncker seeking urgent clarification into an alleged dirty tricks incident whereby the Spanish version of the Commission’s answer to a Parliamentary Question on Catalan independence differed considerably from the original approved English version.Read more
Next Sunday, the people of Catalunya go to the polls to choose their new government. However, this election will have further implications than merely a change in seats for Catalan political parties.
Due to the intransigence of the Spanish state, this vote has been given the status of a proxy for a referendum on Catalan independence.
First published in The Sunday Herald 20 September 2015Read more
Wednesday 9th September marked a symbolic victory for those who believe that an Israeli-Palestinian peace is only possible if both sides are treated as equals. The European Parliament has now voted to change the name of its “Delegation for Relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council” to the “Delegation for Relations with Palestine" by 344 votes to 282.
Published in The Huffington Post 11th September 2015.Read more