Alyn Smith MP
Member of the UK Parliament for Stirling and SNP Europe and EU Accession Spokesperson
Welcome to Scotland in Europe, a resource which I hope will inform the discussion over Scotland’s current and future relationship with our wider continent. This site is not about Brexit; that is an old battle, this site is about the future. The original version of this site was live during the 2016 EU referendum, but we have relaunched it in order to win the ongoing debate and upcoming decision – that Scotland’s best future is as an independent state back in the EU. But also, I am a Member of the Westminster Parliament and can say hand on heart that I want to see the remaining UK have as close, deep and functioning a relationship with the EU as possible. Bear with us as we evolve the site to keep it up to date with developements.
It has never been more important to be well informed about matters European.
In the star-crossed UK referendum on EU membership on 23 June 2016, the people of Scotland voted emphatically by 62% to 38% to remain within the European Union, across every counting area from Shetland to Stranraer, the Western Isles to the Borders. By a narrow majority of 52% to 48%, the UK population voted to leave. Since that point there has been a blizzard of facts, opinion and counter-opinion, pseudo-facts and outright fake news over Scotland, the UK and the EU. I hope that this resource will be an antidote to some of the misinformation that has been circulated, myths that have gone unchallenged and counter a general lack of familiarity with the EU that could hinder an informed debate and informed choice over our future path.
Where we won the referendum in Scotland, I believe that there remains an argument to be won over EU membership, and a dearth of accessible resources giving reliable facts to inform that discussion.
I am, for my part, a proud nationalist and a proud European, firm in my view that Scotland’s best future will be as an independent state within the EU. However, this website is less about that, and aims more to inform a discussion about how we got to where we are now, what is at stake in the ongoing negotiations, and Scotland’s possible future paths.
I hope, though it is perhaps for others to judge, that I am not partisan in my thinking. On my election to the European Parliament in 2004, I sought membership of the Parliament’s Switzerland, Iceland and Norway Delegation specifically to familiarise myself with the realities of EFTA or EEA membership, as well as to get to know better some of our nearest neighbours. I served on the Delegation for ten years, so can claim to have spent many years getting to know Scotland’s other options, and am happy to debate all of them on their respective merits. Scotland has several options available to us as, indeed, does the UK.
We do not know what is in Scotland’s, nor indeed the UK’s, future. However, whatever twists and turns the brexit rollercoaster has yet to travel, I hope that a reliable source of information will allow people to make an informed choice. Being a virtual resource we will keep this site updated with developments.
– Alyn Smith MP, SNP Europe and EU Accession Spokesperson
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