Here is my column from the Blairgowrie Advertiser on Tuesday 4th June:
In the European Parliament elections Scotland elected 3 SNP MEPs. In Perth and Kinross the SNP secured over 18,000 votes and played a key role in this success delivering the clear message that Scotland’s electorate supports continued EU membership. Thank you to everyone who voted for this positive vision for Scotland’s future and to all the activists who spent weeks delivering leaflets and knocking doors. The Tories only managed to just hold on to their single MEP in Scotland, but lost substantial votes and Labour’s confusing stance over Brexit cost them their two MEPs. On a personal level I was saddened to see Labour’s David Martin lose his seat, as he had worked hard representing Scotland in Europe for 35 years and was passionately anti-Brexit. David and I would have approached some matters from different perspectives but there was much more that we would have agreed on.
Now that the EU election has come and gone, we are faced with the spectacle of a Tory Party leadership campaign. Only this time Tory party members will elect our Prime Minister. Thus far a dire dozen have come forward to declare their candidacy for a job which many would consider a poisoned chalice. It is likely that whoever the next Prime Minister is, that they will favour keeping a no-deal Brexit firmly on the table at the end of October. This would be hugely damaging to Scotland and opposition parties are going to have to work together to find a way of avoiding it at all costs. The Labour party leadership really need to be clear with the public about what their true stance on the option of a second referendum is and they must commit to working across Parliament to see it happen.
Our 3 MEPs have already started work and the clear message that is coming from Brussels is that our European allies do not want Scotland to leave. We must look at all options to secure Scotland’s future in Europe and that includes holding a second referendum on Scottish independence. Indeed, the Scottish Government have just started the ball rolling on the legislation that would be needed to see this happen. Whatever your view on Scottish independence, it is clear that Westminster is not working for Scotland. At the very least Scots deserve to be asked what future they wish to have.
In Westminster we have an order paper devoid of any meaningful business and it looks like we will have a new Prime Minister who will be distracted by the warring factions inside their own political party rather than what is best for the country. Scotland deserves better than this – we can and must be heard.