The incredible moments in Scottish politics that will make you pack your bags right now

Michaela Whitton

If, like us at The Canary, you are spinning plates trying to keep up with the post-Brexit turmoil, you may well have begun to fantasise about a break. Hotter climes perhaps, with no wifi?

Well, we have an idea, and it will particularly speak to those who voted to remain in the EU — or the ‘remnants’. We can’t promise it will be warmer, or any less wet, but we suggest people move to Scotland, sharpish. Our conclusion was reached after stumbling across some of the most heartfelt and inclusive post-Brexit speeches yet.

Distancing themselves from London and urging the UK to get a grip, a series of inspiring pleas by Scottish ministers have risen above the smokescreen of Westminster in-fighting and calculated coups. In Scotland, 62% voted to remain in the European Union. Every local government area in the country voted to stay put. Consequently, many now feel they are now being dragged somewhere they don’t want to go.

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Sound familiar? Read on.

Nicola Sturgeon has laid out the Scottish government’s response to the Brexit vote in an attempt to protect Scotland’s place in the EU. At the same time, the First Minister sought to reassure those from other countries who have made Scotland their home and claimed Europeans will always be welcome:

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 I want to reassure those from other countries who have chosen to make Scotland their home. I made a commitment to them on the morning of the result and I repeat it here. You are welcome in Scotland. This is your home. We value your contribution.

She added:

We chose to be an open, inclusive and outward-looking society where other EU citizens are welcome to live, work and contribute. We voted to protect the freedom and prosperity that comes with our rights to travel, live, work and study in other European countries.

“A diminished little Britain”

Scottish National Party (SNP) MP Angus Robertson has been equally frank. Claiming Scotland has ‘no intention whatsoever’ of being taken out of Europe which would be ‘totally democratically unacceptable’, he added:

In Scotland we voted to remain because it really matters that we’re in the single European market, because we value the free movement of people, of goods and services, because our EU citizenship rights matter, as do our legal safeguards for workers, for women and for parents.

He continued:

We voted to remain because we are a European Nation and it really, really matters to us that we live in an outward-looking country, not a diminished little Britain. In scotland we are now being told from Westminster that despite the majority against ‘leave’, we’re going to have to do as we’re told. We’re going to be taken out of Europe against our will.

According to Mr Robertson, Scotland is a European country and will stay a European country and he ended on this:

If that means we have to have an independence referendum to protect Scotland’s place then so be it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Oek96B96E8

“Do not let Scotland down”

The ‘pièces de résistance’ in speeches so far came from SNP MEP Alyn Smith who received a standing ovation for his heartfelt passion during a special Brexit session in Brussels. Moments after Nigel Farage hailed Britain’s ‘independence day’, Smith begged fellow MEPs not to let Scotland down and added:

I represent Scotland within this house and while I’m proudly Scottish, I’m also proudly European.

He continued:

I want my country to be internationalist, co-operative, ecological, fair and European. The people from Scotland, along with the people of Northern Ireland, the people of London and lots and lots of people in Wales and England also voted to remain within our family of nations.

Claiming those negotiating Britain’s future ties with the EU would need ‘cool heads and warm hearts’ he raised his voice and added:

Please remember this: Scotland did not let you down. Please, I beg you, do not let Scotland down now.

The passionate plea prompted hundreds of MEPs to erupt into a lengthy standing ovation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-4Sc52vmI8

Sturgeon has said it is possible for the Scottish Parliament to refuse to ratify a Brexit. More recently, the First Minister has opened discussions with Brussels officials on the country’s future status and to press the case for remaining in the EU. In the meantime, many will wait with baited breath to see what’s next for Scotland — and indeed the rest of the UK — particularly those who feel betrayed by Westminster and that they are being dragged out of Europe against their will.

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