A progressive Europe - Ross Greer's debut speech as MSP

Ross Greer, Europe spokesperson for the Scottish Greens and MSP for West of Scotland, today (26 May) made his debut speech in Parliament, using a debate on the EU to highlight the social protections gained by being in the European Union and the opportunities it affords young people.

Mr Greer, who at 21 is Holyrood's youngest member, said:

"At UK level the referendum debate has been nothing more than a contest between two wings of the Conservative party, two flavours of a failed economic model, two kinds of hostility to immigrants and refugees. Those of us who believe in a progressive Europe, a people’s Europe, must stand up for everything we have already won.

"Europe has strengthened workers’ rights, brought us limited but welcome regulation in the financial sector, and brought us huge benefit to our environment and health with regulations that forced the UK government to eliminate acid rain and smog and stop dumping raw sewage onto our beaches.

"I asked a number of other young people what they would contribute to this debate, if given the chance. One response really stuck out: Europe provides young people with endless opportunities to connect with and learn from others. Leaving would limit us politically and economically but it would limit us socially as well.

"Whilst the EU requires major reforms we are better making those reforms by staying in."