Press release

Call for early agreement on protecting citizens' rights in Brexit talks

Quote from EFA MEP Alyn Smith (Scotland)

Speaking in this morning's European Parliament debate on the Brexit negotiations with EU Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Scottish National Party MEP Alyn Smith said:

"I'd pick up on Guy Verhofstadt's point about how Eurosceptics and populists have been beaten three times in recent elections, well actually it's four.

"In Scotland, we saw them off handsomely with 62 per cent of the vote in favour of remaining within our European family and we remain in favour of remaining within our European family. And Scotland will not be silent, passive bystanders within this process.

"I'd also urge you that where the people of Scotland want to work with their friends and colleagues across the EU, there is a deliberate, wilful agenda within UK politics to misrepresent and demonise this process and the personalities involved within it. We've heard it today. Don't give them more ammunition, don't give them what they want. This is them getting their excuses in early – 'Brexit would have gone great except for those bloody foreigners!' – that is the narrative they are trying to kid on the British people with. Don't give them what they want. It's not in Scotland's name.

"I read the guidelines with a heavy heart but I see little to dislike, however I would urge the suspension of the nothing is agreed until everything is agreed principle for citizens' rights. You could give real impetus to this by committing to an early agreement on this issue. We could make that work now for all of our citizens."