Scotland's Remain vote must be respected
Scotland's decisive vote in favour of remaining part of the European Union at the recent referendum must be respected, according to SNP MEP Ian Hudghton.
Mr Hudghton was speaking in a debate in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on the outcome of the recent European Summit, called to discuss the implications of the UK's Brexit referendum.
MEP Ian Hudghton
In a sometimes heated debate, MEPs from all parties digested the implications of the UK's vote to leave the EU.
But there was also acknowledgement that the UK is not a single nation, but four different countries, with different results registered in the referendum.
Scotland voted to remain in the European Union by a clear margin, with 62% in favour and 38% against.
Mr Hudghton highlighted that the Scottish government, with a cross party mandate, is now working hard to ensure that the democratic decision of voters in Scotland is respected.
European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker also took part in the debate.
Speaking in the debate, Mr Hudghton said:
"The absence of political leadership from Westminster is absolutely shameful in these circumstances. The UK Government has no plan, and even those who led the leave campaign have no idea what to do next.
"Perhaps we should not be surprised, given that their campaign was based – as many have said – upon lies, but also that it seems that they did not expect to win.
"I am glad that colleagues have recognised that the UK is not one country. In fact, it is four different ones, and the Brexit referendum underlines that fact once again.
"The result in Scotland, my country, was a clear majority in favour of remaining in the European Union. The remain campaign in Scotland was based on the positive, outlining the many benefits which derive from EU membership and with a vision for the future.
"I think that the negative result in England was based on decades of failure by UK governments, decades of half-hearted approaches to EU membership, decades of blaming Brussels for anything that seems unpopular, and decades of failing to underline the fact that it is elected governments and MEPs who make the decisions in the European Union.
"By contrast, the Scottish Government and Nicola Sturgeon, with a cross-party mandate, seek to achieve and give effect to what Scotland voted for and, in the coming months, will be working hard and positively to that effect."