Scottish National Party (SNP) MP Alyn Smith has called on the European Union (EU) to offer a “lifeboat” to the UK from the “wreckage” of Brexit, which he said has caused economic and social damage to the country. Smith, who is also the president of the European Free Alliance (EFA), a political group that represents regionalist and nationalist parties in Europe, made the remarks in an opinion piece published by The National, a Scottish pro-independence newspaper.
Brexit has been a “nightmare” for the UK
Smith argued that Brexit has been a “nightmare” for the UK, especially for Scotland, which voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU in the 2016 referendum. He said that Brexit has resulted in trade barriers, supply chain disruptions, labour shortages, higher prices, lower standards, and loss of rights and opportunities for the UK citizens. He also accused the UK government of being “dishonest” and “incompetent” in handling the Brexit negotiations and the post-Brexit situation.
Smith said that the UK’s decision to leave the EU was based on “lies” and “false promises” by the Leave campaign, which he said exploited the “fear and anger” of the people who felt left behind by the globalisation and the austerity policies. He said that the Leave campaign also ignored the “diverse and complex” realities of the UK, which is composed of four nations with different histories, cultures, and aspirations.
Smith said that Brexit has exposed the “deep flaws” and “democratic deficit” of the UK’s constitutional system, which he said does not respect the will and the interests of the devolved nations, especially Scotland and Northern Ireland. He said that the UK government has imposed a “hard Brexit” on Scotland against its wishes, and has undermined the devolution settlement and the Good Friday Agreement, which are the foundations of peace and stability in the UK.
EU is the “best hope” for the UK’s future
Smith said that the EU is the “best hope” for the UK’s future, as it represents a “community of values” and a “force for good” in the world. He said that the EU is based on the principles of democracy, human rights, rule of law, solidarity, cooperation, and diversity, which are the “antidote” to the “nationalism, populism, and isolationism” that drove Brexit. He said that the EU also offers a “model of integration” and a “platform of influence” that can help the UK address the common challenges and opportunities of the 21st century, such as climate change, digital transformation, migration, security, and development.
Smith said that the EU should not abandon the UK, but rather offer a “lifeboat” to the UK from the “wreckage” of Brexit. He said that the EU should maintain a “close and constructive” relationship with the UK, and support the efforts of the pro-EU and pro-independence movements in Scotland and Northern Ireland to rejoin the EU. He said that the EU should also welcome the “European citizens” in the UK who want to retain their EU rights and benefits, and provide them with “practical and moral” support.
Smith said that the EU should also be “open and flexible” to the possibility of a “reformed and renewed” UK that may want to rejoin the EU in the future. He said that the EU should not close the door to the UK, but rather keep the “light on” for the UK, and encourage the UK to reconsider its decision and to “come back home” to the EU.
Scotland and Northern Ireland deserve a “choice” on their future
Smith said that Scotland and Northern Ireland deserve a “choice” on their future, as they have been “dragged out” of the EU against their will by the UK government. He said that Scotland and Northern Ireland have the “right” to decide whether they want to remain in the UK or to become independent and rejoin the EU. He said that the UK government should respect the democratic mandate of the Scottish and Northern Irish people, and allow them to hold referendums on their constitutional status.
Smith said that he supports the independence of Scotland and Northern Ireland, as he believes that they would be better off as “sovereign and equal” members of the EU, rather than as “subordinate and ignored” parts of the UK. He said that he hopes that Scotland and Northern Ireland will soon join the EU as “new states”, and contribute to the “European project” of peace, prosperity, and progress. He said that he also hopes that the UK will eventually realise its “mistake” and rejoin the EU as a “friend and partner”.
Smith said that he is confident that the EU will welcome Scotland and Northern Ireland with “open arms” and “warm hearts”, as they share the same “vision and values” as the EU. He said that he is also confident that the EU will be “ready and willing” to help the UK to “heal and rebuild” after Brexit, and to restore the “fraternal and fruitful” ties between the UK and the EU.