These words from Noelle O’Connell, CEO of the European Movement Ireland and vice-president of European Movement International (EMI), resounded across the airways at our latest webinar on Scotland in Europe – and the wider world. And back came the answer: We won’t!
Noelle and Richard Morris, who sits on the EMI board and is a member of EMUK’s national executive, both made plain that Scotland should stand up for better EU-UK relations when, in so many ways, the UK was turning its back on Europe and proving to be a difficult “partner” post-Brexit.
Equally, EMiS, with its observer status within EMI, should raise its voice about the EU’s own wider relations with the rest of the world: China, the US,. Russia et al. Richard urged EM members to engage in all these issues and reach out to sceptics about why it was vital the UK should rejoin the EU when Brexit represented “a retreat from the world.”
EMiS chair Mark Lazarowicz warned that many people wanted to seize upon Brexit and see the EU broken up as a whole. It was vital to create a wider mass movement in defence of the EU and its achievements – not least what it does for half a billion European citizens.
Here’s how one MP reacted:
Meanwhile, with support for Scotland’s place in the EU growing, whether as an independent state or as part of the UK, our executive member John Purvis, a former Conservative MEP, responded to negative commentary in the Times (‘Thunderer’). You can read his rebuttal here. And here’s the original by former senior Scottish Office civil servant Peter Mackay.
And our colleague Kirsty Hughes has penned this blog on how the rest of Europe views the Salmond-Sturgeon dispute and its impoact upon views of Scotland inside Europe…
If you missed the webinar you can watch it here: https://youtu.be/lTy8nR13AFU