Scotland in Europe Update 9th December 2016

Liam Fox quietly confessed this week that he intends to try and keep the EU’s WTO schedules.  This means we will continue to have the same tariffs and quotas - so it's understandable why the Leave advocates want to keep this news quiet! 

But the biggest singular news this week has been surrounding the Brexit Court Case taking place in the Supreme Court. Evidence has been given and arguments made but it will be next year before we know the result from the judges.

The evidence presented by the UK government in relation to Scotland was revealing. Lord Keen of Elie, the Advocate General for Scotland, stated:

“The correct legal position is that [the UK] Parliament  is sovereign and may legislate at any time on any matter and that is specifically set out in the devolved legislation itself.”

There you have it - the UK government’s legal representative bluntly stated that the opinion of the Scottish Parliament is irrelevant. Regardless of what the judges decide, this is a glaring reminder of our current predicament.

If you want to read more, I recommend this piece by Dr Andrew Tickell:

https://lallandspeatworrier.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/sewel-no-constitutional-safeguard-just.html

In the meantime, I'll continue my work here in Brussels to find solutions that allow the will of the Scottish people in the referendum to be enacted. It is clear that the UK Government has no such intention. 

Staying informed has never been more important, so if you know anybody else who wants to sign up then let them know they can do so here: http://www.alynsmith.eu/stay_informed

Yours aye,

Alyn

 

I suppose ‘Vote Leave, take Control’, was snappier than ‘Cut And Paste The Status Quo And Hope Nobody Notices’. By committing to try and keep the WTO schedules of the EU Liam Fox effectively admitted that Britain would keep the same tariffs as the EU. The appropriate part of the statement is:

 “The UK’s WTO commitments currently form part of the European Union’s schedules. When we leave the EU we will need UK-specific schedules. In order to minimise disruption to global trade as we leave the EU, over the coming period the Government will prepare the necessary draft schedules which replicate as far as possible our current obligations.”

The full statement can be found here:

https://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-statement/Commons/2016-12-05/HCWS316/

Ian Dunt has written an excellent analysis of its implications.

http://www.politics.co.uk/blogs/2016/12/06/very-quietly-liam-fox-admits-the-brexit-lie

Theresa May’s call for a ‘red white and blue’ Brexit is empty, jingoistic, dangerous nonsense. This is not what you would hear from a person in charge of events or with any sense of purpose.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/dec/06/theresa-may-calls-for-red-white-and-blue-brexit

This week saw the first ever press briefing with the EU’s Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier. BBC Scotland came to Brussels to see what he had to say and caught up with me as well. You can see an excerpt from their report here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkEf-Hyx_lo

And the full press conference can be seen here

http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/focus/index.cfm?sitelang=en&focusid=1981

A fall in EU migration will have significant negative impacts on per capita GDP according to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.

The PR is available here:

http://www.niesr.ac.uk/media/press-release-sharp-fall-migration-post-brexit-could-shrink-gdp-capita-more-3pc-12738

And the full report from here:

http://www.niesr.ac.uk/publications/economic-impact-brexit-induced-reductions-migration

An interesting analysis of Nicola Sturgeon’s visit to Ireland last week from the Irish Times.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/europe/sturgeon-visit-offers-glimpse-into-brexit-diplomacy-game-1.2891054

Keeping “open skies” between the UK and EU is vital, according to Alex Cruz President of British Airways. 

http://www.expansion.com/empresas/transporte/2016/12/07/5847b5c522601d09138b45b9.html

There has been a 275% increase in the number of UK lawyers registering in Ireland after Brexit

http://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/news/275-increase-in-uk-lawyers-registering-in-ireland-after-brexit/

French billionaire Xavier Niel has started a campaign to persuade tech startups to move from London to Paris

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-06/paris-mega-campus-takes-startup-seduction-campaign-to-london

Various banks in London are well on their way to moving to Paris.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/brexit-london-banks-advanced-stages-shifting-operations-paris-1595431

Norway cannot negotiate a trade deal with the UK until Brexit is complete according to Boerge Brende, the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-05/norway-seeks-clarity-on-brexit-before-making-deal-on-u-k-trade

In better news Irish has been awarded full EU language status.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/languages-culture/news/irish-to-be-given-full-official-eu-language-status/