TORY PLANS MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO ‘UNDERMINE’ SCOTLAND’S APPROACH 

The SNP is today highlighting new expert evidence on the impact of the Tory government’s attempts at EU re-negotiations on Scotland – amidst warnings that David Cameron is overlooking Scotland’s interests and risks undermining Scotland’s approach to immigration and integration.

Ahead of today’s meeting of the Scottish Parliament’s European and External Relations Committee, Dr Eve Hepburn, a specialist in Politics and International Relations at the University of Edinburgh has said that “It appears that the interests of the devolved administrations have been overlooked in the case of the UK’s current efforts to renegotiate the UK’s terms of agreement… despite the impact that this will undoubtedly have on their interests and competences.”

Dr Hepburn also points out that while Scotland has a “distinct approach to immigration and integration”, this could be “significantly undermined if Cameron is able to negotiate stricter controls on EU migration.”

Commenting, Committee Convenor, SNP MSP Christina McKelvie said:

“These expert comments get to the heart of David Cameron’s problems in Scotland – viewing our interests as an afterthought rather than something which should be at the heart of any EU negotiations.

“As Dr Hepburn makes clear, Scotland’s positive and inclusive approach to immigration and integration is the polar opposite of the right-wing agenda of this Tory government – and for that to be put at risk by David Cameron’s attempts at re-negotiation would be completely unacceptable.

“The First Minister has already been clear that the Scottish Government will seek to contribute positively to discussions on reform of the European Union – and so the fact that David Cameron is overlooking the interests of Scotland and the devolved administrations in favour of playing up to his more extreme backbenchers and to UKIP is deeply disappointing.

“The SNP will continue to make a strong, positive case for Scotland’s interest within the EU – but the UK Government has overlooked Scotland’s interests on Europe for far too long.

“It’s now time for David Cameron to make sure that Scotland’s voice can’t be ignored any longer - by agreeing to the First Minister’s plan for a ‘double majority’ to ensure Scotland can’t be ripped out of the EU against our will by his dangerous games which are inching the UK closer to the European exit door.” 

“Given that Scotland has a distinct approach to immigration and integration, which would be significantly undermined if Cameron is able to negotiate stricter controls on EU migration to the UK and a drastic reduction in migrant rights, what could it potentially do about this to make its voice heard?”

“It appears that the interests of the devolved administrations have been overlooked in the case of the UK’s current efforts to renegotiate the UK’s terms of agreement on EU membership, whereby David Cameron has organised a number of high-profile bilateral meetings with EU member-state leaders on ‘red line’ issues such as migrant rights, without consulting the devolved administrations on their views, despite the impact that this will undoubtedly have on their interests and competences’