I WAS privileged last week to briefly head down to Swansea to visit the Plaid Cymru conference as the fraternal delegate from the SNP. While there I also participated in an event on the main floor of conference, “The Celtic Nations In Europe”, with Sinn Fein, Plaid and the SNP discussing Brexit from our different perspectives.
First published in The National, 09 October 2019
There was a great deal of mutual respect and solidarity, but also a keen awareness uniting us that where we all understood each other well and were trying to support each other in finding solutions, we are dealing with a group of folks in Westminster who talk the language of unionism but actually put little effort into understanding (as they would see us) the constituent parts of the UK. It is on that contradiction that the UK union will end – the people who purport to be in charge of it aren’t actually that bothered.
But while it was great to reconnect with our friends in Plaid and see them in such good heart, it is SNP conference this coming week, and we’re all heading to the Granite City of Aberdeen to go catch up with old friends, meet new ones, debate, discuss and support each other.
I’m proud to announce that the SNP European Group is running a “fringe of a fringe” and we are jointly hosting six events throughout the conference to make sure that there is absolutely no doubt the SNP have the EU and internationalism running through our veins.
Events over the three days featuring the likes of Kirsty Hughes, Susan Aitken, Tommy Sheppard and Philippa Whitford will explore the devastating impact of Brexit on Scotland.
The SNP are an internationalist party, and the EU is international solidarity in action. We have since the early days of the modern age and still seek normal, equal status in the world. There are plenty Brexit thunderclouds gathering not on the horizon but right on top of us, but I’m proud that the party have in every branch, every council chamber and each Parliament of current relevance to Scotland worked as a team with a united goal.
So many people want to stop the Brexit uncertainty, and there’s a real Brexit scunner factor out there. But the uncertainty comes precisely because we didn’t vote for independence in 2014.
If the people of Scotland were in charge of events we wouldn’t be here now. Scotland’s problems are coming from Westminster, not anywhere else, let us never forget that. Because it is clear from recent days that this UK coalition of vandals and nihilists are going to burn the building to the ground and blame everyone but themselves for the resulting fire. There is going to be an industrial scale spin operation to try to persuade you that the EU has been unreasonable, that Dublin has blocked progress, that the dog ate their homework, that the alarm didn’t go off this morning, whatever.
The fact is there’s no good Brexit, they know it and they’re trying to blame everyone else for their failures. Scotland knows better and the SNP have a duty to the people of Scotland to keep us informed and up to date with what is actually going on.
I’m looking forward to conference, of course, but I’m looking forward to the election more when we can throw these chancers out and replace them with pro-EU, sensible voices.