Folk across Orkney will go to the polls on Thursday to help elect six Scottish Members of the European Parliament.
Of course, if many UK and Scottish Tories had managed to get their way we wouldn’t have a vote this time round. But let us be quite clear – Scotland’s future lies in Europe. A vote for the SNP will send a strong message that Scotland says No to Brexit.
Labour and the Tories are both committed to delivering Brexit. We need to let them know that Brexit is undesirable and undeliverable. We support a second EU referendum, with the option to Remain on the ballot paper.This has to be the best way forward for Scotland and the rest of the UK, for Brexit has shown clearly, once and for all, that Westminster isn’t working.
Scotland’s feelings about the EU were clear for all to see when we voted overwhelmingly in 2016 to remain. It’s a democratic outrage that we are now being dragged out against our will. Brexit will be bad for Scotland – with fewer jobs, fewer opportunities and households left worse off. Thursday’s European elections are an opportunity for people in Scotland to make clear they will not stand for Brexit.
The SNP has repeatedly proposed a compromise, Norway-style single market option that would minimise the damage caused by Brexit – but we’ve been ignored.
Politicians at Westminster haven’t been able to deliver Brexit. But Theresa May thinks she can ask them again and again until they agree with her deal.It’s wrong that MPs get to change their mind but the public can’t. A second EU referendum can solve Westminster’s impasse – and can keep Scotland in the EU.What can’t be allowed to happen is for the UK to crash out of the EU without a deal. Article 50 should be revoked if a no-deal Brexit is the only alternative.
No wonder more and more people believe Scotland’s future should be as an independent country. Of the 27 independent countries that decided the UK’s future at the recent European Council, around a dozen are smaller than or similar in size to Scotland. The contrast between the solidarity EU countries have shown Ireland, and the lack of respect the UK Tory government has shown Scotland, could not be clearer. We want Scotland to be a decision maker, with a seat at the top table – working constructively and on an equal basis with our European partners.
We in the SNP are clear that we want Scotland to be part of a positive future in Europe. Membership of the EU brings peace and stability, jobs, funding, access to trade and workplace rights, benefits for our food, farming and environment and the ability to live, work and study across Europe.
We will continue to fight for European Scots and their families, and for Scotland to have the powers to deliver our own tailor-made migration policy.
That is why I am urging voters in Orkney to vote for the SNP this Thursday.
This is a regular column by local MSP Maree Todd, SNP. All Highlands & Islands List MSPs have been offered the same space.
Click on this link to view all the candidates standing in Scotland: Parties List Their Candidates for EU Parliament Elections