SNP MEP, Alyn Smith, has today (Wednesday), on the fifth anniversary of the independence referendum, told the European Parliament there is “no good Brexit” and said that Scotland must have the chance to choose its own future as an equal, independent member of the EU.
Speaking in a Brexit debate in Strasbourg, he warned that the Withdrawal Agreement, even if it or something like it is agreed, will not deliver a sustainable future relationship.
“Brexit has been a matter of frustration and regret from the very start, a thing to be regretted, a thing of sadness. And from a Scottish perspective, it has also been a thing of grave injustice.
“Scotland was told five years ago that the only way to stay in the EU was to stick with the UK– well how ridiculous that argument looks now.
“There’s no good news in Brexit and it’s clear that some sort of “deal” will be nothing but damaging to Scotland.
“We are against Brexit but the EU, rightly, is obliged to try to implement Brexit in the least damaging way possible, acting in good faith.
“We’ll abstain today, so as not to hinder these efforts – but we cannot be part of any statement that says the Withdrawal Agreement is fair and balanced.
“We saw the usual nonsense today from the anti-Europeans but they’ll not shout me down.
“Scotland can play its part in trying to stop Brexit, but we must also have the chance to choose our own future as an equal, independent member of the EU.”
Alyn’s speech is available to view here and the text is as follows:
President, thank you. Colleagues, good morning.
Brexit has been a matter of frustration from the very start, a thing to be regretted, a thing of sadness.
From a Scottish perspective, it’s also been a thing of grave injustice. We voted to Remain within our family of nations.
The people of Northern Ireland voted to remain within our family of nations. The Peace Process there is sacred and must be protected.
Scotland’s argument is not with you, I assure you. It’s with a dysfunctional, broken Westminster that’s not fit for the modern world, not fit for the interconnected, interdependent world we live in.
I don’t ask you to solve our domestic problems. You must deal with the interlocutors you’re dealt – I’m sorry for that.
I’m trying today to avoid a terrible mistake for all of us – for Scotland, for the UK, and for the European Union. I hear the argument every day back home that ‘we need to get Brexit delivered’ ‘we need to get Brexit done’ ‘We need to get Brexit past us’. I hear the argument here also that you’re sick of British nonsense.
Me too, if it’s any consolation.
I appreciate you want an orderly process to mitigate the damage of Brexit. And I’m sorry, colleagues, but I have news for you. There is no ‘good’ Brexit. There is no sustainable answer to this.
The people you are dealing with: the empty vessels of the Conservative Party – who have even now exited the chamber – and their tormentors, have absolutely no plans for a durable, sustainable future relationship.
If Brexit happens, with or without a deal, they will use that as a pretext to slash and burn at home in the UK – in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and in England.
Social dumping, environmental dumping, economic dumping, right off your shores.
There is no such thing as ‘a good Brexit’. There is no such thing as ‘a good outcome’ to this.
So I cannot support the Resolution today. Despite your best efforts and your good faith, I do not believe this Withdrawal Agreement will deliver, because of your interlocutors.
Scotland has other choices in this. We need more time to reverse Brexit – please give us that time.