Scotland votes Remain… again

Written by Alyn Smith on 7 June 2019 in Opinion
Opinion

Newly re-elected SNP MEP Alyn Smith celebrates the triumphs for the SNP and Scotland’s pro-Remain parties in the European elections, which highlight, once again, that Scotland wants to remain a part of the European Union.

Alyn Smith, Christian Allard and Aileen McLeod | Photo credit: Press Association


In the European elections on 23-26 May, Remain and the SNP had a very good night in Scotland.

Every single council in Scotland was won by a clearly Remain Party and the SNP itself won every single mainland seat.

So, the short version of the election result is simple: Scotland voted Remain, again.


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Crucially, we won people over by being clearly pro-EU, and we’ll win even more by sticking to that course given Scotland’s clearly pro-EU sentiment.

I can’t thank our activists or the people of Scotland enough.

I now welcome to Brussels my new colleagues Christian Allard and Aileen McLeod who have already hit the ground running and I am sure are going to be stellar.

Aileen worked with me from 2004 to 2009. She went on to be a Scottish Government minister and represented Scotland at the Paris Climate change talks.

“Crucially, we won people over by being clearly pro-EU, and we’ll win even more by sticking to that course given Scotland’s clearly pro-EU sentiment”

She already knows her way around the building and has a clear plan of what she wants to achieve.

French national Christian has already been dubbed “M’sieur L’Ecosse” and I could see it sticking!

That Scotland and the SNP care so much about being a welcoming and inclusive place for New Scots that we sent one to represent us in Brussels warms my heart and I’m not the only one.

As for our opponents and, in some cases colleagues, I’ve made no secret that I’m sad to see David Martin [a former Socialist MEP] leave the European Parliament in these circumstances.

I would trade him for 1,000 Brexit Party candidates any day of the week. He had planned to retire so the fact that he stood at all to play for the jersey is a credit to him and he deserved better from his party.

He joined with me and others as a fully paid-up member of the Scottish Six Article 50 court case against the UK Government [the court case brought by Smith and others on whether the UK can unilaterally withdraw its Article 50 notification].

He enthusiastically joined the First Minister’s Standing Council on Europe and worked hand in glove with the SNP Government to defend Scotland’s, and the UK’s, place in Europe.

“For us, the instruction we received from the people is Scotland is simple: stop Brexit. We will do everything we can to fight for that”

He didn’t need to do any of that and deserves much credit for doing so.

I hope he is not lost to Scottish politics. Catherine Stihler [a former Socialist MEP] likewise put in a real shift for Scotland and I wish them both well in whatever comes next.

So, a great few weeks.

People are asking what comes next on Brexit. I’ll confess I don’t know and have given up the predictions business.

For us, the instruction we received from the people is Scotland is simple: stop Brexit. We will do everything we can to fight for that and whether we are here for 5 years or just until October 31, [when the UK is due to leave the EU] you can rest assured we will work with any and all to help secure that objective.

But after the election we know that Scotland voted for Europe again, we know that the Westminster parties are in open shambolic disarray, and we know that Scotland deserves better.

About the author

Alyn Smith is an SNP MEP

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