Scotland's place in Europe's family of nations
SNP MEP Alyn Smith has spoken up for Scotland's place in the EU's family of nations during a key debate in the European Parliament today ahead of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome on 25 March.
MEPs were discussing the outcome of last week's European Council and the forthcoming 'Rome Declaration' with EU Council President Donald Tusk, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.
MEP Alyn Smith
This is the first major constitutional debate in the European Parliament since the announcement of plans to hold a referendum on Scottish independence in the face of a hard Brexit.
Smith urged against complacency as Europe prepares to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. He emphasised the need to celebrate and defend European values, which Scotland shares.
Speaking in the debate, Alyn Smith MEP said:
"I represent Scotland in this house and the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome is somewhat bittersweet from our perspective.
"It's right that we should celebrate our common values, solidarity, co-operation, multilateralism. The acknowledgement that any problem that we face is bigger than any one country, however big, however small, but it's also right that we should reflect upon how fragile those values and that progress truly is.
"Trust me, the ingredients of Brexit exist in every one of our European countries, we cannot be complacent.
"Now I'll be in Rome also next weekend, in my kilt, marching alongside you, working with you, to celebrate and defend our European values because Scotland shares those European values and those values must be defended.
"And Scotland, colleagues, faces the prospect of being removed from our family of nations against our clearly expressed democratic will. It's not fair, and if the EU is not a community of justice and law and democracy then what are we for?
"You'll be aware of course that this week the Government of Scotland has put the question of independence back on the table. We do that out of complete frustration at the intransigence of the UK Government.
"President Tusk, when you say that the EU will not be intimidated by threats from the London government, I assure you neither will Scotland.
"We will not be intimidated, we will not be silent within this process, we are citizens not subjects. We will not be passive bystanders. Independence is one of many possible futures. I believe solutions can be found. We will look to our friends and our allies."