Membership of the EU

Membership of the EU

Scotland voted to stay in the EU, so it should have the option to stay in the EU.

The Conservative UK government’s decision to negotiate a “hard Brexit” for the UK creates a stark choice for Scotland. The result of the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence and Scotland’s 2016 vote to stay in the EU are now incompatible. We believe that people should be given the choice in a referendum of that hard-Brexit UK or – as we would propose – an independent Scotland free to rejoin the EU.

Even if a Scottish referendum is to happen, it is vital that the damage the UK’s exit from the EU will do is minimised. We will fight for Scotland to retain as close a relationship as possible with the EU. We will push for the Brexit deal to include retention of freedom of movement, including the rights of EU citizens to remain in the UK, for young people to study, work, live and travel in the EU, and for the preservation of environmental protections and the principles and regulations which protect human health, animal welfare, data protection and workers’ rights.

Any repeal of European legislation must respect devolution, with no new reservations added to the Scotland Act and all changes to devolved policy areas agreed by the devolved nations. There must be strong democratic protections on any Repeal Bill. So-called “Henry VIII powers” must be restricted, time-limited, and allow an emergency brake for parliament to pause executive action if concerns are raised. Any proposed changes to legislation that involve substantial reforms or affect basic rights must undergo full consultation and parliamentary scrutiny.

The Green vision for the EU is for a people’s Europe, protecting workers’ rights, the environment, welcoming refugees and reining in the banks and major corporations. Europe has its flaws but progress is being made, driven significantly by Greens, and Scotland can be a leader for that progress. We want to be at the heart of the EU, working to end the economics of inequality, corporate power and unsustainable growth. These are problems that do not respect borders, and it is through cooperation that we can tackle them.

Whatever deal is negotiated for Britain’s departure from the EU, we are open to the idea advocated by many that this should be ratified through a referendum; however, this cannot be allowed to prevent the people of Scotland from making their own choice.