Tue 27 Jun, 2017

...the people of Scotland will be the only ones in Europe not to have their say on Brexit under the timeline outlined by the First Minister. Patrick Harvie MSP

The people of Scotland will be the only ones in Europe not to have a say on Brexit under the new timetable outlined by the First Minister, say the Scottish Greens.

Responding to a statement by Nicola Sturgeon, where the First Minister revealed that she will “not seek” to introduce immediate legislation for an independence referendum, Scottish Greens’ co-convener Patrick Harvie said there is now “no chance” that Scotland will avoid being dragged out of the EU and, likely the Single Market.

The party’s co-conveners wrote to the First Minister earlier today, urging her to resist calls from opponents who have conceded to a Hard Brexit and who are against holding an independence referendum once the terms of the deal are known.

In October 2016, in light of the Brexit vote, the Scottish Greens at their party conference called for a Section 30 order, giving Holyrood the power to call a referendum, to allow the people of Scotland to choose their future.

Glasgow MSP, Patrick Harvie said:

“Scotland has not consented to being taken out of the EU and certainly not by a Tory government we did not elect. That Tory government’s refusal to acknowledge this means that the people of Scotland must have their right to choose respected. I’m glad that the First Minister says she is committed to that principle, but if a Bill for a referendum is shelved until late next year, there is no chance that the people will have the opportunity to make their choice until after we’ve been dragged out of Europe, and out of the single market too. That means lost jobs, lost rights and lost opportunities.

“Seeking to influence the Brexit talks seems all well and good, but the UK government has shown zero interest in the views of all others and certainly those who see the social and economic wreckage which their plans will create.

“With this announcement the people of Scotland face being denied the right to make their own choice until long after we leave the EU. In fact, the people of Scotland will be the only ones in Europe not to have their say on Brexit under the timeline outlined by the First Minister.”

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“May I say just one more thing Prime Minister; if you must do this damn silly thing, don’t do it in this damn silly way.”

So spoke the fictional, and now almost legendary civil servant Sir Humphrey Appleby in perhaps his bluntest ever advice in an episode of Yes, Prime Minister. It’s a warning which has been coming to mind a lot recently, and it could have been made specifically about the disastrous decision to take the UK out of the European Union, and the damn silly way in which it’s being done.