Scotland in Europe Update 16th December 2016

It's been another busy week in Strasbourg, including the final address from Martin Schulz before he stands down as President of the European Parliament. He's been decent, and it will be interesting to see how his successor does. One thing is for certain - whoever succeeds him will have their work cut out for them over the next few years.  Continue reading

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!  Continue reading

Scotland in Europe update: December 2nd 2016

It has been a busy week and that means a bumper newsletter. Nicola Sturgeon visited Ireland to build alliances, some companies began to put in place their plans to face Brexit and more European politicians expressed their frustration with the UK government's lack of a plan. Continue reading

Scotland in Europe update: November 25th 2016

Welcome to this week's update, part of my efforts to keep you informed about events in Europe. Another busy week on the diplomatic front as Michael Russell, Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland's Place in Europe, launched a publication about Scotland’s extensive historical engagement with Europe and its present democratic and constitutional position in relation to the UK, Europe and Brexit. Continue reading

Scotland in Europe update: November 18th 2016

A week of leaked memos, rumours of chaos, experts pointing out that the Civil Service isn’t ready to take on Brexit and Boris Johnson making a fool of himself. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose, I hear you cry. I wish I could disagree. Continue reading

Scotland in Europe update: November 11th 2016

It has been another busy week across Europe (and the world). As the Scottish Government declared its intention to enter the Article 50 Supreme Court case Charles Goerens, an MEP from Luxembourg, tabled an amendment to the European Parliament calling for the establishment of an European associate citizenship. This would apply to those who wish to be part of the European project, but are nationals of a former member state (such as the UK in the future). Continue reading

Scotland in Europe update: November 4th 2016

Well it has been a busy week where the headline was expected to be that Theresa May met with European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker this morning ( However, this has been overshadowed by the English High Court Judgement stating that the initiation of Article 50 will require the assent of the House of Commons and House of Lords. This is not necessarily the end of it as the UK Government will certainly appeal to the Supreme Court, but if it stands it will certainly change the terms of the negotiation. As you'd expect, it's prompted plenty of material for this week's edition of your Scotland and Europe update. If your friends are interested then feel free to share and if they want their own copy direct them to Continue reading

Scotland in Europe Update: 28th October 2016

This week I have been back in Strasbourg for a plenary session and got a lot of good work done. It was great to be back at the centre of Europe, working with MEPs from across the continent to deliver on the big challenges we all face. The European Parliament’s resolution on EU-Iran relations was passed which marks a significant step forward in our approach to the middle east. You’ll be able to read more of my thoughts in my National column next Tuesday. Continue reading

Scotland in Europe Update: 21st October

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. Continue reading

Scotland in Europe Update 14th October

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. Continue reading