In favour of a deal,
just not this one.
The SNP Members of the European Parliament Ian Hudghton MEP and Alyn Smith MEP have today (Wednesday) voted against giving consent to the EU-Canada Trade Agreement, known as CETA. The Agreement was nevertheless approved by a majority of the Parliament, by 408 votes to 254 with 33 abstentions.Read more
It has been a busy week. The big news is the Scottish Government has published a consultation on a draft Independence Referendum Bill.
This does not mean there will be another IndyRef, there is a long way to go yet, but if there is another it will not be because the result of the 2014 referendum has not been respected – it will be because the promises made to Scotland have not been kept.
The SNP Manifesto clearly stated that another IndyRef could be called “if there is a significant and material change in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014, such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will.” It doesn't get more clear cut than that and, unlike the Tories who committed to the single market in their 2015 general election manifesto, we will stand by our promises.
In Brussels I have been busy meeting ministers from our Government and elsewhere in Europe. These have been productive and together we are building the good will needed across the EU. This groundwork is going to be essential for whatever happens next.
Elsewhere CETA got into even more difficulties, the EU's accounts were signed off again, and as an honorary vet I am deeply concerned about the potential impact of Brexit on animal welfare.Read more
I'm grateful for the support I received in the SNP Depute selection. While I’m disappointed not to have won the role the work goes on. I have a job to do for the party and for Scotland, a job I asked for and a job that is more important than ever.
First published in The National, 18 October 2016Read more
Scotland in Europe Update 14th October: First Minister announces plans to keep Scotland in the Single Market
It's business as usual at SNP Conference right now, with the First Minister promising that the SNP will be working hard to find ways to keep Scotland in the Single Market. The UK Government has made it clear that there's no plan beyond hard-line rhetoric, so the Scottish Government will be setting out a plan for Scotland. A hard Brexit will change the UK, and Scotland deserves the right to choose its best future. Click here to read the First Minister's speech in full.
This week we finally saw that the Tories have bought the UKIP lie: hook, line and sinker. Anyone who did not believe that the European Question is the defining attribute of politics in these islands is in no doubt after Theresa May’s speech to Conservative Party Conference last Sunday.Read more
This week has been dominated by European politicians commenting on what the UK Government is doing - or not doing. Needless to say that Scotland and the UK are being judged and we are clearly coming out better from this.Read more
This has been a busy week and whilst no further clarity has emerged from the UK government a lot has happened in Edinburgh and on the Continent.
On Wednesday Nicola Sturgeon appeared before the Scottish Parliament European and External Relations Committee outlining her fears about the potential damage caused by Brexit. You can read more here.
Welcome to the latest weekly bulletin on Scotland and Europe. I am committed as one of Scotland's MEPs to keep constituents up to date as we all try to make sense of the shambles that is Brexit.
Everyone is now back to work in Brussels and London, but Theresa May’s message to Europe has not changed in two months: there is still no message, and this, understandably, gets on our European friends’ nerves with - again - the EU calling on the UK to get its act together and present a negotiating position.
SNP Member of the European Parliament Alyn Smith MEP has today (Tuesday) hailed the comments of French Trade Minister Matthias Fekl that the long running and controversial EU-US Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks are "totally blocked" as an important indicator of how the talks are going.
TTIP is controversial across Europe, with a number of member states promoting the deal in the interests of free trade, but with concern over the possibility that public services could be threatened and regulatory standards weakened in the course of the talks. The deal is being negotiated by the European Commission under delegated authority from the 28 member states, and will not come into force unless the member states agree and the package is approved by a majority of the Members of the European Parliament on behalf of the citizens of Europe.Read more