The clock keeps ticking. The inevitability of the consequences of Brexit become ever more apparent as time goes on. The latest casualty is the European Capital of Culture programme.

I am furious and gutted for Dundee who had been bidding to be European Capital of Culture in 2023. The eligibility criteria state that any city bidding must be part of the EU, EEA/EFTA or be a candidate country. This is stipulated in the EU legal text governing the programme (Decision 445/2014, Article 3) written long before the Brexit vote:

Was this outcome inevitable because of Brexit? No, this blow is all the more frustrating because it didn’t need to be like this. The programme is eligible to third countries so long as they have a clear relationship with the EU- one Scotland wants to maintain but that the Tories have thrown up into the air. The reality is that this is just the latest, and I’m afraid not the last, proof of what Brexit Britain is going to be: smaller, meaner and diminished in every sense.

Brexit may continue to be the talk of the town in Dundee, Edinburgh and London but in Brussels the world keeps turning. Earlier this week I successfully steered a report on the state of democracy in Hong Kong through the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee, recommending that the EU reinforce bilateral dialogue with Hong Kong on democracy, human rights, trade, customs and climate change.

I want Scotland to be a part of these conversations, working with our partners across Europe. Whatever happens in the wake of this chaotic Tory Brexit we must not lose sight of what we all want: an open, tolerant and internationalist Scotland which is a member of the EU.

Yours aye,


The European Medicines Agency is leaving the UK and will move to Amsterdam.

And the European Banking Authority is moving to Paris.

It is worth remembering that David Davis stated neither would leave the UK.

The Electoral Commission is investigating Vote Leave Limited, Mr Darren Grimes and Veterans for Britain Limited.

You can read more about the background of this case in this article by Peter Geoghegan and Adam Ramsay.

The EU taskforce against disinformation noted that over 45,000 twitter accounts sharing the Leave campaign’s messages in the last 48h before the vote were in fact fake twitter accounts from Russia.

Michel Barnier has emphasised in a speech in Brussels that the UK’s partnership with the EU will be defined by how far the UK wishes to diverge from the European norms.

The Brexit vote has already cost us financially, according to an LSE, Centre for Economic Performance and UK in a Changing Europe Report: “The 1.7 percentage point increase in inflation implies that by June 2017, the Brexit vote was costing the average household £7.74 per week through higher prices. That is equivalent to £404 per year.”

The Home Office is struggling to hire enough staff to cope with applications from EU nationals. 

The European Union has set up a taskforce to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.

The European Parliament Constitutional Affairs Committee (AFCO) has released another flurry of detailed reports addressing various aspects of Brexit.

Future dispute settlement:

The Good Friday Agreement:

Legal, Political and Economic Considerations for Ireland:

Avoiding a hard border in Ireland:

Tony Connolly has written an excellent piece explaining the Irish negotiating position.

An internal report from the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs quotes senior EU figures warning of the “chaos in the Conservative government”.

Dr Katy Hayward has put together a detailed report assessing the attitudes towards Brexit from those who live on the Irish border.

Alberto Nardelli has written a good overview of the state of play in Germany.

“Once the United Kingdom has left the EU, banks operating from the UK might lose the EU passport. And with it, they might lose access to the European market. … My message to all affected banks is this: don’t procrastinate. No one will wait for you. When Brexit happens you will either be prepared, or not. I advise you to be prepared.” This is the message from Sabine Lautenschläger, Member of the Executive Board of the European Central Bank and Vice-Chair of the Supervisory Board of the European Central Bank.

Michel Barnier reiterated that banks in the UK would not have “EU passporting rights” to access the EU 27 from the UK after Brexit.

There are increasing fears about the future of Erasmus+ in Wales.

Finally, this heart-breaking piece in the New York Times about the European doctors and nurses leaving London is well worth a read.

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