Previous events 2016
Mark Hanniffy, Consul General
of Ireland to Scotland.
Friday 2nd December
Mark Hanniffy, the Consul General of Ireland in Scotland spoke on the topic: Brexit and the European Union- the view from Dublin.
Our newly elected chair, Vanessa Glynn was pleased to welcome members to festive drinks, dinner and a topical speech.
Mark set out The View from Dublin on Brexit and Ireland's priorities in the negotiations. He emphasised the long history and close ties between his country and the UK, not least within the European Union. He warned, however, that in the Brexit negotiations, Ireland would be firmly in the EU27 team. Members particularly noted the very positive reception that First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon had received in Ireland earlier in the week. We were also struck by the fact that Dublin's government had clearly done a good deal more contingency planning for Brexit than had Whitehall.
Members were keen to put questions to Mark and the discussion continued well after dinner.
"Brexit - the view from Brussels"
Wednesday 16th November
Ballroom, Sloan's, 62 Argyll Arcade, 108 Argyle Street, Glasgow G2 8BG.
Christian Kaunert, Professor of European Politics and Academic Director of the Institute of European Studies at Free University at Brussels,
gave an interesting talk on the attitude of the other EU countries towards the UK and Brexit. We hope to have some of his notes to download soon. There were so many questions after that the AGM started 20 minutes late!
Wednesday 16th November
Ballroom, Sloan's, 62 Argyll Arcade, 108 Argyle Street, Glasgow G2 8BG.
After the minutes of the previous AGM were approved, the chairman read his report.
Our activities during the last twelve months were, quite understandably, dominated by the referendum. I don’t intend to comment on the campaign or the result here, other than to say that it was hugely disappointing and damaging, but I do want to praise strongly the campaign which EMiS fought in Scotland thanks to the efforts of both the committee and many members and supporters.
Lord Campbell, our President, led the successful media campaign with his usual skill and determination and was frequently present in the media with our message. We organised ten high profile public events across Scotland with leading panellists. Ayr was cancelled at the last moment owing to the tragic death of Jo Cox. We co-ordinated our activities with the official campaign, Scotland Stronger in Europe.
Details of all the events and the panels, together with all the other things we undertook are still on the Movement website. There were also quite a number of house parties thanks to the initiative of John Purvis and others. We also participated in other campaigns, campaigned on the streets and through a co-ordinated media and our social media campaign became a recognised focus for a non-party political Scottish perspective on the EU referendum.
Orbit Communications, via Alex Orr was of considerable assistance in the media campaign and as a base for our activities With their assistance we were able to employ our assistant, Amrita, for six months and she made a valuable contribution to our campaigning effort.
Considering the very limited funds at our disposal I believe the contribution we made to the debate and campaign in Scotland was out of all proportion to our size and resources. This was thanks both to the professional support of Orbit and very much to the huge effort and commitment of the Executive Committee and a dedicated group of members and supporters in the Campaign Group and elsewhere. The expert support of Roundhouse with media design was of great assistance.
We made considerable, but ineffective, efforts to raise funds from other sources, particularly business, but in the end it was our own members who, through generous donations, for which many thanks, funded the campaign. Here particular thanks must go to the late David Millar, a long-time and valued supporter of EMiS, to whom the Movement has also had cause to be grateful in the past. He will be sorely missed. Also to Sir Gerald Elliot who has been a staunch supporter of EMiS.
Unsure of how much funding we would have available we registered as a campaigning body with the Electoral Commission and managed to obey all the rules.
Following the referendum we have held a members/supporters event on 29th September when Professor Drew Scott took us through the options facing Scotland and the UK following the decision to leave the European Union. We used this opportunity to discuss the response of EMiS to the decision and were in broad agreement on the stance of EMiS towards the planned exit from the EU.
In September we also made a detailed and comprehensive submission to the Holyrood inquiry into Scotland’s future relationship with the EU. The basis of the submission was drafted by Elspeth Attwool, with additions by other experts from the committee.
This year I am stepping down from the Chair of EMiS. I have had the privilege of chairing EMiS through the Independence Referendum in 2014 and the EU Referendum in 2016 and I am immensely proud of what we have achieved and that thanks to the efforts of so many people our small organisation has been perceived as being far bigger than it really is. Successful organisations need constant change and with the new challenges facing us I am convinced that a fresh (and younger) viewpoint will lead the Movement on to growth and influence in respect of the challenges facing Scotland in 2017 and in the future.
Thank you and good luck.
The treasurer expanded on his report with a few comments:
The figures have all been distorted by significant projects (Referendum in 2015/16 and Question Time Project in 2013/14 and 2014/15.)
One part time staff member was taken on towards the end of the period to strengthen our central administration resource over the critical months of the Referendum.
Funds were contracted with Orbit Communications for "professional services" in order to
a) raise further cash from business, and
b) provide a steady stream of PR presence via the media
Donations from members, rather than corporate, did however rise significantly following our first appeal.
Overheads are now minimised. In many respect we have done this by drawing on the goodwill of volunteers.
The Treasurer concluded by expressing his gratitude to Janet Hammersley for her support and to Ian Doig who again audited the accounts.
As a result of our referendum campaign our following was greatly increased, particularly with our non-member mailing list.
Janet also thanked Alex Orr whose great experience with social media helped boost the numbers of our Twitter and Facebook followers enormously.
She also maintains our website and was pleased to report that in the month of June, the number of our unique visitors increased ten fold over the previous year.
Election of office bearers and executive committee
The following people stood down from the committee:
Alan Armitage- secretary
Derek Hammersley -chairman. Derek has chaired EMiS for three years and feels it is time for "fresh blood".
Janet Hammersley - she will continue to do the website for a little longer.
Willis Pickard. - Willis has been a member of the committee for over 11 years and in the past was responsible for producing our hardcopy newsletter that went out to all our members. This can be very time consuming, and sometimes frustrating. We are all grateful to him for his commitment in the past. More recently he has been a great help editing and proofing articles for us. His presence, help and guidance will be missed.
The following people were elected:
Office bearers: Chair -Vanessa Glynn, Vice-chair - David Clarke, Secretary - Sally Kramers (YEM), Treasurer- Bill Rodger.
Members of the Executive Committee:
Elspeth Attwooll, David Brew, David Gow, Derek Hammersley, Anne Kerr, Nigel Lindsay, Helen Millar, Iain Mitchell, Alex Orr, John Purvis.
Ken Robertson has agreed to take on the role of Membership Secretary and will be co-opted at the first Executive Committee meeting following the AGM.
At the end of the AGM, the incoming chairperson, Vanessa Glynn made the following statement:
"Thank you for selecting me as Chair of the Executive Committee. I am very honoured and excited to be taking up this position.
"First, on behalf of EMiS as a whole, I would like to say a very big thank you to Derek, who has Chaired our Committee for 3 years with exceptional commitment and brought us through some extraordinary circumstances with great skill. And I want, too, to thank Janet who has brought an unparalleled degree of professionalism to the administration of EMiS. We are very grateful to you both. We hope you will enjoy this small token of our appreciation.
"For those who don’t know know me yet, I’ll say a little about myself. I have been a career civil servant in the FCO and in the Scottish Parliament and Government. I have spent most of my career working on EU matters, in London, Brussels and Edinburgh. I have negotiated for the UK in Council Working Groups and for Scotland in the Joint Ministerial Committee on Europe. I organised the Edinburgh EU Summit in the early 90’s and set up Scotland House in Brussels in the run up to Devolution. I have been proud to be a member of EMiS for the last 4 or 5 years and to work on the EU Referendum Campaign in Scotland which helped return such a resounding vote for this part of the UK to Remain.
"For those of us who believe in the ideals and benefits of the European Union, these are challenging times. Now more than ever we must continue to speak out for the European Union and to make the case for our membership of it. We must not be cowed into silence by bigots and demagogues. We must not let lies go unchallenged or political expedience destroy the economic prosperity and legal protections that the EU offers us as citizens.
"That doesn't mean uncritical praise of the EU. Angela Merkel has spoken of the shock of Brexit as demanding honest self-reflection by the Union about how to improve economic growth, deal with the migration crisis and manage the security challenges of terrorism and Russian aggression.
"I would add to that list the need to find effective social democratic solutions to the challenges of globalisation and the digital future."
Speaker meeting with discussion
September 29th, 19:00, refreshments 18:30, Royal Overseas League, 100 Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 3AB
Professor Drew Scott gave a presentation as to the current position of the UK with regard to Brexit. His notes can be downloaded here.
The presentation was followed by a question and answer session.
After tea and coffee there was a discussion on the future of the European Movement in Scotland
EU Edinburgh Rally - Leading NOT Leaving
16th June 7pm - 9pm - St Columba’s By The Castle, Edinburgh, EH1 2PW
Left to right: Lord Campbell (our president), Sarah Beattie Smith (Green Party), Jackson Carlaw MSP (conservatice), Stephen Gethins MP (SNP), Willie Rennie MSP (Lib Dem), Kezia Dugdale MSP (Scottish Labour), and Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP (Lib Dem).
A packed hall
Post-event media huddle
A coming together for Scotland, Britain and Europe
On Thursday we were privileged to host a panel session supported by all of the main political parties in Scotland.
All the speakers talked passionately about their belief that a vote for Remaining in the EU was a vote for peace and prosperity. What was striking was the camaraderie and agreement between individuals who normally are challenging each other over their different view points. All of our speakers focused on a positive vision for Europe, but it was left to Nick at the end to remind us of the tragedy that Brexit would be for ordinary working people.
A questions and answers session was followed by an impassioned plea for a Remain vote from European Movement in Scotland President Lord Ming Campbell, who recounted how the EU had helped our continent recover from the years of conflict that he remembered as a child.
The event sadly took place against the backdrop of the horrific murder of Jo Cox MP. Politicians often are castigated as being out of touch or in it for themselves. From the event yesterday we can be proud of our politicians and the way they are uniting to make sure we remain in the EU. That unity of purpose was a positive thing to embrace on a very sad day.
Why vote? - your EU questions answered - Ayr
16th June 7pm - 9pm - Ayr
Abbotsford Hotel, Ayr
Due to the murder of the Labour politician, Jo Cox, in the afternoon, this event was cancelled as a mark of respect. We apologise if we were not able to let you know in time.
We would also like to thank the owner of the Abbotsford Hotel, as he did not charge us for the hire of the room. A very kind gesture.
Why vote? - your EU questions answered - Stranraer
9th June, 7pm - 9pm
North West Castle Hotel, Stranraer
Left to right: Alex Fergusson MSP, John Edward (Scotland Stronger IN Europe), Struan Stevenson (chair) and Hugh McMahon (former Labour MEP).
Why vote? Your EU questions answered - Dunfermline
8th June, 7pm - 9pm
Dell Farquharson Hall, Dunfermline
Derek Hammersley, chair, Speakers: Alyn Smith MEP, David Brew, John Purvis and Hugh McMahon.
left to right: Alyn Smith, Hugh McMahon, John Purvis,
Derek Hammersley, John Purvis
We had a predominance of young people in our audience for our Dunfermline event.
In his opening speech, Alyn Smith stated that the SNP campaign was based purely on facts and recommended his Wee Blue Book to see them all and how these are verifiable. He pointed to his leaflet of all the benefits we receive as members of the EU and stated that when the Leave campaign proclaim they wish to take back control, that these are the things they wish to take back control of, i.e. abolish them. He also stressed again that immigration is not a problem. In fact it is good for Scotland, our society and our economy. Immigrants are adding £55 per day to our economy.
In his opening speech, John Purvis said that the EU was held by many in the world as a shining example of how to do things better. Arabs had expressed to him their envy that the Arab nations are not able to do something similar. By pooling sovereignty we are part of a bigger block and have more influence. He deplored the rise of nationalism and feared that Europe could return the politics of the 1930s. He did not want the UK to become an inward-looking, nationalistic country.
Hugh McMahon reminded us that the EU has been a bastion of democracy representing freedom against totalitarian regimes. We have seen more recently unrest and bloodshed in Spain and Greece as they attempted to get rid of their dictators. They were desperate to become members of the EU to preserve their hard-won democratic rights. He reminded us that we are protected by the EU's social policy. Our membership of the EU has given great opportunities to our young people to travel, work and study in the EU.
David Brew in his work, oversees the money that the EU spends in Scotland. Initially the UK treasury tried to control it all but it took Scottish MPs to break this cycle and see that money intended for Scotland was actually returned to Scotland. There is no guarantee after Brexit that Westminster will continue to spend money in Scotland. Initially Whitehall also tried to control all deals with the EU, but the EU insists that wherever possible, deals are made at a local level. Scotland has in the past received a great deal of money from the EU which has aided development and made Scotland a lot more prosperous. We will not receive as much in the future as the EU wishes to build up the economies of poorer countries in the EU but in the future they will become trading partners with us.
On the question as to how Brexit would impact the EU, there was a consensus that it could destabilise it which would not be good for anyone. It was pointed out that Nigel Farage has actually expressed a desire to see the whole of the EU collapse. There are many voices in Europe pleading with us not to leave. The Irish Republic is very worried about this and how it may affect the peace process which is supported by funds from the EU.
Another question regarded lobbying within the EU and it is difficult for small groups to compete with large companies such as Shell. All MPs, past and present, expressed their view that it is actually easier to contact an MEP than an MP or an MSP. There are also organisations for small groups that can represent them in Brussels.
The ignorance of the British public about the workings of the EU was again deplored by one of the audience. Again, the British media was blamed as they are only interested in "sexy" stories. They all agreed it was very difficult to get any coverage. John Purvis said the German newspapers were more likely to carry reports about him than the home newspapers. (As an example, we had 3 journalists at our previous meeting, all from foreign papers, not one from the UK.) It is a struggle to get the consumer side represented in the media.
The subject of TTIP was raised. Alyn Smith pointed out that many EU countries are against certain aspects and that it can only pass with the agreement of all MEPs, including himself. He is of the opinion that it will succeed. However, he was clear that after Brexit, the UK government would make this deal with all these aspects imposed upon us.
In all a very stimulating evening and wonderful to see how in Scotland the political parties are all working together to make the Remain Vote succeed.
Why vote? Your EU questions answered - Glenrothes
6th June, 7pm - 9pm
Room 10, Rothes Halls, Dunfermline
Derek Hammersley, chair, Alyn Smith MEP, Willie Rennie MSP, Prof Frank Müller (University of St Andrews) and John Purvis.
Left to right: Alyn Smith, Professor Frank Müller, Derek Hammersley, Willie Rennie, John Purvis
We had a great evening in Glenrothes last night. In their opening speeches, both John Purvis, and Professor Müller, a German and naturalised Brit, spoke with feeling about the peace that had resulted in Europe with the formation of the EU following centuries of bloodshed. John Purvis remembers bombs falling in St Andrews when he was a boy, his friends' fathers not returning home and the terrible devastation in Hamburg where his father was posted at the end of the war. Continuous working together, discussion and negotiating agreements had brought the countries of the EU to a better understanding of each other, and as Frank said, even a better liking of each other.
Alyn Smith recommended the Wee Bleu book which can be downloaded from his website "Scotland in Europe" .
Questions from the audience gave us the opportunity to debunk many of the "myths" put out by the Leave side. As was expected, the topic of immigration came up. Alyn Smith pointed out that this is categorically not a problem. We have currently 2.2 million Brits living in the EU with 2.5 EU immigrants living here. These immigrants contribute more to our economy than they take out, being young, healthy people in work. As a percentage of total immigrants, those from the EU are much less. The others arrive in this country on a points-based system. It should also be added that immigration is important to Scotland and its economy. (See the Wee Bleu Book)
Related to this, a Belgian lady in the audience asked what would happen to her in the event of Leave. The truth is, we don't know. Alyn Smith expressed his anger that those, both here and in the EU, affected by the outcome are denied a vote and found it preposterous that Commonwealth citizens can vote. For this he blamed David Cameron who implemented it as a sop to his back benchers.
Trade and commerce was also discussed. It was agreed that we would indeed still import goods from the EU, but on what terms? Would there be extra tariffs on imports and exports? Would we return to the days of long queues at borders resulting in delays for importers and exporters?
The EU has 51 trade agreements, which is more than any other country in the world. All of these would have to be renegotiated and negotiations take years, not days. As a country on our own, we would be very weak when negotiating with large blocks such as the U.S. and China, who would be able to impose conditions favourable to themselves. We need friends and support in these negotiations.
Alyn Smith was not impressed by the lack of model from the Leave side, comparing this to the SNP which, in the Independence Referendum, offered a clear model which could then be analysed. It was agreed that there is no viable model for us to follow. Countries like Switzerland and Norway tried to work outside the EU but in the end found it impossible and had to buy their way back into the trading block. And this without the advantages of being at the table and participating in the decisions made.
Yet again we heard the mantra of the Leave campaign about the "burgeoning Brussels beaurocracy". Alyn pointed out that this is a civil service, just as Westminster and Fyfe have a civil service. They are there to work for the elected representatives. The Brussels Civil Service which serves 50 million people, is smaller than that for Birmingham. Very efficient. He did admit that he would like to get rid of the Commissioners, but that can be done with agreements from the other countries. The EU is in a constant state of reform.
Alyn emphasised that the EU is a democratic institution, with many checks and balances, (possibly too many, he quipped). Decisions are made by democratically elected MEPs. Juncker was elected as president, in fact by 3 tiers of voting. All contrary to the propaganda propounded by the Leave side that he is unelected. Another of their "myths".
Discussion also touched on what would happen if we left. The consensus amongst the panel, was that the EU would not bend over backwards to be kind to us and negotiations would be very tough indeed.
Also following Alyn were reporters from Le Monde, RTS (a Swiss broadcaster) and the New York Times, one of whom commented that this was the first event he had been to in the whole referendum period with an informed and intelligent exchange. He had until then been in England.
Our thanks go to all the members of the panel who provided us with so many answers. It is also uplifting to see politicians from different parties coming together on this one issue.
Why vote? - your EU questions answered - St Andrews
1st June, 7pm - 9pm
St Andrews Town Hall
Left to right: Lord Campbell, Catherine Stihler, Derek Hammersley, Prof Frank Müller
John Purvis, organiser
Derek Hammersley, chair, Lord ‘Ming’ Campbell, Catherine Stihler MEP and Prof Frank Müller (University of St Andrews).
This was a very successful information evening with an audience of around 120, roughly split 50/50 for remain and leave. The questions were many and thoughtful.
The panel were able to provide informative, factual and principled answered to the questions.
It is always difficult to know if minds have been changed, but with certainty a number of lukewarm pro-EU attendees were re-energised to vote and engage with the debate and approached the chairman after to tell him so. Several people also said they had enjoyed the evening and felt they had learnt a lot.
There were lots of information leaflets available for them to take - which they did.
Our thanks to committee member John Purvis and his team who did much of the organising and promotion of the event.
Why vote? - your EU questions answered
25th May, 7pm - 9pm - University of Dundee
Professor Richard Kerley, Chair (CSPP), Professor Christian Kaunert, Hans Blomeier, Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp and Jon Stanley, director of Prospect Scotland for the Leave side.
Dewars Centre, Gannochy Suite, Perth
The panel, from left to right: Prof Kaunert, Gordon MacInture-Kemp,
Prof Richard Kerley (Chairman), Jon Stanley, Hans Blomeier.
Pictures courtesy CSPP and KAS.
Thank you to all those who took part in our debate in Dundee and especially Professor Kerley who ably chaired the event and kept things orderly and moving along, the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and the the Politics Department of the School of Sciences at the University of Dundee.
With over 60 participants in the audience (why do audiences not like the middle of a row?) it was a lively evening with plenty of arguments on both sides and many questions coming from the audience. Thank you to all those who submitted questions beforehand, some of which we answered.
Inevitably there was much to say about the financial and trade aspects of EU membership especially from Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp, founder and chief executive of Business for Scotland, arguing that whilst Brexit would not end trade with other EU countries, no other feasible alternative – including the Norway, Swiss or Canada – would guarantee as good access to the single market with any increase in sovereignty.
A member of the audience suggested they were not the only models and we should look at the Isle of Man, Singapore and Korea. (Our questioner should perhaps himself look a little closer at these countries. Hardly valid comparisons.)
Mr MacIntyre-Kemp also maintained that Brexit's claims of increased profits were based on an assumption, that the UK government would reduce worker rights and health & safety regulations currently protected in EU legislation.
Another business man pointed out that it had taken him 40 years to build up his business and re-tool to trade in the EU. He didn't want to lose all this investment.
Control of our borders was again raised and it was pointed that we have full control as we are not in Schengen and can refuse permission to EU nationals who for whatever reason are undesirable, and that if we impose visa restrictions on other countries, they will inevitably do the same to us.
Strange how all the disproven claims keep being repeated. An audience member had to be corrected, yet again, on the spurious claim that the EU had never had any accounts signed off. Our chairman, previously an auditor with Price Waterhouse had to explain why this is a blatant lie.
The issue of sovereignty again raised its head. Perhaps you've heard the assertion that the only sovereign country in the world in North Korea, but Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp pointed out that even it is not sovereign as it is dependent upon China for aid. He reminded us that in a global world we are all inter-dependent. Professor Kaunert made another important observation, that sovereignty is not taken, but it is shared.
On the question of how we hold Brussels to account, it was maintained that member states, via their MEPs have significant influence and it is possible to fire the commission.
The evening was followed by an informal drinks reception with a chance to chat to the audience and panel members.
Co-sponsor KAS / University of Dundee
Why vote? - your EU questions answered - Dundee
Monday 16th May, 2.30 pm
Dewars Centre, Gannochy Suite, Perth
Andrew Dundas, Chair, Ming Campbell, Roseanna Cunningham, Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp (Chief Executive, Business for Scotland) and Paul Henke.
It must be admitted that this event was a disappointment in that the audience was very small. It had been timed for mid-afternoon with the hope of attracting both the elderly and students, but unfortunately it coincided with other events which proved more attractive to the younger citizens.
It was, never-the-less, an excellent meeting in the sense that the speakers were authoritative and thought-provoking.
The audience had strong views on the problems and benefits of immigration from the EU, and on corruption inside the European Institutions, which would have justified a much longer discussion.
Author Paul Henke supplied a critique of the EU. Lord Campbell and Ms Cunningham both stressed the wider benefits of the EU in providing a framework in which people, businesses and communities could develop peacefully. Lord Campbell contrasted this with the devastating wars that had regularly interrupted the two centuries before the EU was formed. A lively discussion followed, which was only curtailed by lack of time.
The meeting was ably chaired by Andrew Dundas.
Why vote? - your EU questions answered - Edinburgh
12th May, 6.30 - 8pm
George Square Lecture Theatre, George Square, Edinburgh EH8 9LK
Professor Richard Kerley, Chair (CSPP)
Speakers: Ming Campbell. Hans Blomeier, Anthony Salomone, Dr Arianna Andreangeli, Lecturer in Competition Law plus Tom Harris, Director, Scottish Vote Leave.
This event must count as one of our best ever with around 300 people in the audience. The event had attracted a lot of media attention with an article in the paper a few days previous. In attendance we had BBC, both Radio 4 and Scotland along with Turkish TV and a French/German television film crew along with key newspapers.
Although our key speakers, Lord ‘Ming’ Campbell for Remain and Tom Harris from the Vote Leave campaign don’t agree on much on one thing they did agree and that was that they wanted young people to turn up and vote in the EU referendum. Tom Harris even went as far to say he’d rather lose the vote than win by older people turning up in droves and outvoting the more pro-European, but more likely to stay at home, younger population.
The panel answered many questions put forward by the audience and the event ended with a stirring defence of the EU by Ming. He urged younger people to turn out and vote in order to protect their benefits, rights and future.
He also urged older generations to think of the benefits of peace, prosperity and security they have enjoyed through EU membership and not to prevent a younger generation enjoying those same benefits.
"I say to my generation, you have benefitted from decades of peace, prosperity and security that are down to the existence of the European Union. Our younger people know this and have benefitted from the single market and the right to travel, study and work freely throughout the European Union.
"EU membership has also delivered jobs and investment into Scotland, with over 330,000 Scottish jobs linked with our exports to the EU, benefitting many of our young people.
"To our older people I say, think of your children and grandchildren when casting your vote, and what kind of world you want to bequeath to them. And to our younger people I say, register to vote and if you are away, register for a postal vote.
"This referendum could be decided on how many younger people turn out on 23rd June. Don’t let yourselves be robbed of the chance for peace and prosperity.
"A narrow Brexit vote in England combined with a majority in favour of remaining in Scotland could keep the UK in the EU. From now on, we will be working flat out to try to secure every possible vote in Scotland."
There is a 36 minute sound recording on BBC Good Morning Scotland which is available until 12th June. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0791lfp
Co-sponsors: Edinburgh University European Union Society / KAS
There was a drinks reception after the event.
Everything you always wanted to know about the European Union, but did not know who to ask
9th May, 7pm - 9pm
Lecture Theatre 1, Dalhousie Building, Old Hawkhill, Dundee, DD1 5EN
Questions were answered by a panel of Dundee researchers from the School of Social Sciences, including Dr Patricia Bauer, Dr Scott Brown, Prof. Robin Churchill, Prof. Christian Kaunert, Dr Stephen Rozee and Dr Bert Schweitzer. The session will be chaired by Dr Edzia Carvalho.
The Dundee event was attended by about 25 students and members of the public, and there were lively contributions from several members of the audience. The high-powered panel of six academics from Dundee university were very frank about the short-comings of the European Institutions, for example in respect of the Common Agricultural Policy, but were all strongly of the view that the EU has been a force for good, and Britain had to be part of it.
This was a Warm-up event for the debate on the EU on 25 May.
The event was organised by the European Institute for Security and Justice – a Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence, with the support of the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP) and the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, and the European Movement in Scotland.
This House Will Vote to Stay in the EU - Edinburgh
April 4th, 2016, 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Edinburgh Training & Conference Venue, 16 St. Mary's Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SU
About 60 people filled the room to hear the debate hosted by the Edinburgh Humanist Society between John Edward, European Movement member and Senior Spokesman for Scotland Stronger In, and Nigel Griffiths MP, co-founder of Labour leave.
John spoke first and emphasised the substantial benefits which the EU has delivered for peace, labour rights, mobility and prosperity while acknowledging that, like every human institution, it wasn’t perfect and will always be a work in progress. He contrasted Europe’s recent history with the conflict and instability which had plagued Europe’s people before the EU was founded.
Nigel queried the role of the EU in maintaining peace arguing that this had been achieved by dividing Germany. Moreover, that the extent of EU fraud was unacceptable, that the EU restricted the UK’s ability to tackle tax avoidance, that EU trade policies had damaged third world economies and that EU fishing policies had contributed to the decline of fishing stocks. He asserted that the UK would be in a strong negotiating position post-Brexit versus the EU because it had fewer jobs (3million) depending on exports to the EU than the EU had (5 million) depending on exports to the UK.
In the Q&A which followed, John rebutted all of these points and a number of audience members queried Nigel’s version of history and grasp of the economic and regulatory data. But it wasn’t all for Remain. Questions were raised concerning a perceived authoritarian EU approach e.g. on minimum alcohol pricing and on the extent to which some member states were adopting extremely intolerant policies. Nigel added that the right was on the rise across Europe but failed to explain how a Brexit would help tackle that.
No vote was taken at the end but those of us who were present felt sure that John had won a convincing victory.
The impact on the third sector of a vote to leave the EU - Glasgow
Wednesday 17th February, 15:00 - 16:00
Carron Suite, Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre (SECC), Glasgow, G3 8YW
Committee member David Brew spoke at this event is organised by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) as part of their annual event "The Gathering".
After the presentations was an opportunity for a wider question and answer session with the panel.