The European Movement in Scotland has been busy in this most difficult of years campaigning against the impact of Brexit and spelling out why Scotland needs an EU future.
We’ve also taken a hard look at ourselves with Covid-safe activist events and a broad survey of supporters to find out what we should be prioritizing now. Our previous posts set out the EMiS aims which reaffirm our goal of full EU membership and set out a series of changes designed to make our organisation more inclusive.
This post reports back on some of the key priorities EMiS is acting upon:
- Increasing EMiS’s impact: we are professionalising our media efforts. We have formed a Communications steering group, including seasoned policy and comms experts – all volunteers doing pro bono work because they are passionate Europeans and want the best for Scotland. We have upped our game with a professionally-designed poster campaign, for use as print-outs as well as on social media, calling out the Brexit lies. Our website is being transformed – again thanks to members who are IT professionals – to make it more topical and user-friendly, and we have a proper, experienced, former Fleet St. journalist as editor. We are working hard to integrate the various EMiS social media platforms so that our messages get the widest possible exposure. We have a flourishing Local Groups’ communications network bringing together activists across Scotland. The network can quickly share information and ideas. Activists can tailor messages to their local circumstances and get coverage in regional, as well as national, press. Our modernised Constitution will underpin these actions to ensure EMiS is relevant and appealing.
- Holding the Brexit regime to account: our poster campaign calling out Brexit lies has been widely viewed and shared. The edgy messaging and bold images savage the regime’s breaking of international law in the IMB (internal market bill), its awarding of contracts to cronies and donors while the rest of us lose jobs, its grim inversion of the truth that Brexit will hurt the EU more than the UK – and reminds us of the unpalatable price we will pay in reduced food standards. A huge Local Groups’ project in the summer was co-ordinating a series of letters to MPs and MSPs pointing out, with clear evidence, the damage that Brexit will do to Scotland in terms of trade, agriculture, health and research. We have held Covid-safe demonstrations in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London against the IMB and for protecting Scotland’s farming and food standards. We will continue to speak the truth about the bleak con that is Brexit and the charlatans who are imposing it.
- Supporting EU citizens: survey feedback showed that activists felt very strongly about the need to show solidarity with our fellow residents who have come from an EU country and chosen to live here. We are lucky that our Chair, Mark Lazarowicz, is a leading human rights, citizenship and immigration lawyer. Mark launched the EU Citizens Rights Project – Scotland. We, and Local Groups, have held a number of events in lockdown focusing on helping EU citizens assert their rights and gain settled status.
- Engaging more with the EU and with European networks. EMiS wrote open letters to EU leaders criticising the IMB. We were pleased that the Commission President’s Office replied setting out its position in the negotiations. We were glad to have registered our concerns at that level about the violation of international law and the assault on devolution that the IMB entails and to have reminded the EU institutions that Scotland will be back. We have increased our (virtual) participation in the European Movement International, based in Brussels, to ensure Scotland’s settled will to remain in the EU is not forgotten by partner nations.
EMiS’s online AGM will be held on 18 November. You can take part by joining and helping us to shape Scotland’s EU future.