Brexit – ‘Leave a light on for Scotland’

Press Release from EFA MEP Alyn Smith (Scottish National Party – SNP)

SNP Member of the European parliament Alyn Smith has, to warm applause, urged the European Union to “leave a light on” for Scotland to find its way back to the EU if removed against the democratic will of the Scottish people.

The intervention was warmly applauded across the Chamber and by Presidents Tusk and Juncker.

Speaking in the debate on the European Council Conclusions Alyn Smith said:

“What a sad place we’re in on Brexit. What a tragedy. So many issues we should be working on together, but are utterly distracted by a self-inflicted disaster.

“Entirely because the UK still, even now at this last hour, hasn’t made a decision on what it actually wants. Mrs May triggered Article 50 without a plan and they still cannot find consensus.  We see MPs today at Westminster finally trying to reach a settled view. Good, welcome to the party.

“In the Scottish Parliament, we’re debating revoking Article 50 because from a Scottish perspective, every single party in Scotland except the Conservatives are united around the view that the best Brexit is no Brexit.

“So colleagues, please, don’t close the door on us now. There are a lot of us in Scotland and across the UK, working hard to turn this round, to serve our citizens, to remain within this family of nations.

“In what might be my last speech in this place after 15 years serving our European people: we don’t know what’s in the UK’s future. We don’t know what’s in any of our future and the forces of populism are gathering in all our nations.

“We don’t know what’s in the UK’s future but I do know Scotland is a European nation.

“We celebrate international solidarity.

“We celebrate freedom of movement.

“If the European Union didn’t exist, we would have to invent something like it, and Scotland would want to be part of it.

“You, as professionals, must deal with the United Kingdom as you find it, you must respect the UK’s constitution, and I respect that.

“You must deal with the interlocutors you’re dealt – sorry about that – but you must deal with them.

“But if Scotland is removed from our family of nations against our will, against our clearly democratically-expressed view, if we are removed against our will, independence will be our only route back.

“Chers collègues, I’m not asking you to solve our domestic discussions. I am asking you to leave a light on so we can find our way home”

This press release has been previously published on the website of the EFA Group in the European Parliament