SNP MEP Alyn Smith receives standing ovation from European Parliament
Scottish MEP Alyn Smith received support from fellow MEPs for his pro-EU speech
Image credit: EP Audiovisual
SNP MEP Alyn Smith was a given an impromptu standing ovation in the European Parliament today for a speech begging the EU not to “let Scotland down”.
In his speech, which emphasised Scotland’s desire to continue its membership of the EU, Smith said: “I represent Scotland within this house and where I’m proudly Scottish, I’m also proudly European.
“I want my country to be internationalist, cooperative, ecological, fair, European – and the people of Scotland along with the people of Northern Ireland and the people of London and lots and lots of people in Wales and England also voted to remain within our family of nations.
“I demand that that status and that esprit européen be respected.
“Colleagues, there are a lot of things to be negotiated. We will need cool heads and warm hearts, but please remember this: Scotland did not let you down.
“Please, I beg you, chers collègues, do not let Scotland down now.”
Nigel Farage meanwhile was booed and jeered at by MEPs.
The president of the European Parliament Martin Schultz was forced to intervene, saying: “One major quality of democracy is that you listen to those, even if you do not share their opinion.”
Farage said: "Isn’t it funny? When I came here 17 years ago and I said that I wanted to lead a campaign go get Britain out of the European Union, you all laughed at me.
“Well, I have to say, you’re not laughing now, are you?”
Farage accused MEPs of being “in denial” that the currency is failing, over Angela Merkel’s invitation for refugees to come to the European Union and that the EU has become a political union.
“The biggest problem you’ve got, and the main reason the United Kingdom voted the way that it did, is that you have, by stealth, by deception, without ever telling the truth to the British or the rest of the peoples of Europe, you have imposed upon them a political union,” he said.
Farage also suggested that EU countries would be worse off if they refused a trade deal with the UK.
“If you were to cut off your noses to spite your faces and reject any idea of a sensible trade deal, the consequences would be far worse for you than it would be for us,” he said.
Farage and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker initially seemed to be on good terms, with Juncker kissing Farage on the cheek, but Juncker later responded with irritation as UKIP members applauded when he announced they would respect British democracy and the view it had expressed.
“That's the last time you are applauding here. And to some extent I'm really surprised you are here. You are fighting for the exit. The British people voted in favour of the exit. Why are you here?” Juncker asked.
The move comes just days after the UK Government was criticised following reports that officials had been told to shelve no-deal planning
With up to 10,000 EU citizens employed in food and drink sector, the Scottish Government has launched support services to help EU citizens remain in Scotland after Brexit
Theresa May is heading to Berlin and Paris for talks with Merkel and Macron ahead of Wednesday's emergency European Council summit
Solicitor general Robert Buckland spoke out as negotiations between the UK Government and opposition are expected to continue