Scotland’s polls for the European Union elections open today, Thursday May 23. Here’s a quick guide to which party’s are standing, their values and their MEP candidates.
Labour accepts the result of 2016’s EU referendum and they would consider backing the option of a public vote on the Prime Minister’s final Brexit deal. However, their official position does not champion remaining in the European Union, which has caused divisions in the party and contributed to the establishment of Change UK.
Labour MEP and candidate David Martin states in his article with The Scotsman:
“With the Presidency of all three institutions (Council, Commission, Parliament) up for grabs after the elections, this is an opportunity to put equality and fairness centre stage in the European debate. A high priority will be tax justice. It cannot be right that the Amazons and Starbucks continue to avoid paying their fair share of tax, thereby denying governments of vital income that could be used to help the worst off in society.”
Brig asks: ‘The EU is to dedicate 25% of its structural funds to addressing climate change. Do you agree or disagree with this and why?’
“Yes, I agree. Without a doubt climate change is the most important challenge we are now facing and this can only be done if sufficient resources are allocated to addressing it.“
Full List of Candidates for Scotland: David Martin, Jayne Baxter, Craig Miller, Amy Lee Fraioli, Callum O’Dwyer and Angela Bretherton.
The Liberal Democrats support a second referendum and would back remain. In their manifesto they state that they wish to remain in the European Union in order to focus on the real issues of climate change, building better health and education systems and tackling inequality.
Fred Macintosh of the Liberal Democrats told our politics editor, Ryan Barclay:
“The Scottish Liberal Democrats are the only party campaigning to keep Scotland in the EU and the UK. The EU has secured peace, created prosperity and given opportunity to move around Europe through free movement. Cutting off the UK from Europe would end that, but breaking up the UK would have similar effect. More unites Scotland, England, Northern Ireland and Wales than divides us and for students who want to see fewer borders and boundaries, voting Scottish Liberal Democrat is the way to secure that.”
Full List of Candidates for Scotland: Sheila Ritchie, Fred Mackintosh, Catriona Bhatia, Vita Zaporozcenko, John Edward and Clive Sneddon.
The autonomous Scottish Green party brings climate-change to forefront of their manifesto by supporting a Green New Deal with the EU . They support both a second referendum and Scottish independence.
Candidate Maggie Chapman of the Green Party states in her manifesto:
“The Brexiteers have nothing to offer, just spreading hate and division, and the centrist parties cannot offer anything like the change that is needed as they are too wedded to a failed economic model. By contrast, the Scottish Greens’ campaign will be positive and offer a clear alternative – one that is increasingly recognised as the only alternative, by a generation growing up with deep worries about the climate crisis and how it will inevitably impact their lives.”
Full List of Candidates for Scotland: Maggie Chapman, Lorna Slater, Gillian Mackay, Chas Booth, Mags Hall and Allan Faulds.
With PM Theresa May failing to deliver a Brexit deal through the Commons in time, the Conservative party are standing to honour the referendum result. Alongside Labour, the divide of remainers and leavers in the party has led to members to defecting to the Change UK party and a second referendum. The Conservative Party’s official stance shows no intentions of supporting a second referendum.
Conservative candidate Nosheena Mobarik states:
“This election offers the chance to tell our parliamentarians in Westminster that they must come together and deliver Brexit – and to send a clear message to Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP – no more divisive referendums.”
Full List of Candidates for Scotland: Nosheena Mobarik, Iain McGill, Shona Haslam, Iain Whyte, Andrea Gee and Michael Kusznir.
While pro-independence from the UK, the SNP sees Scotland’s future within Europe. After attempting to push for a single market economy within the EU was rejected by the Commons, the SNP another referendum.
MEP candidate Alyn Smith told The Express:
“Nobody in the EU wants to see us leave at all, everybody regrets Brexit, there is a strong desire to try and find a form of words to keep us in, but nobody wants to be messed about and people increasingly in Brussels are feeling that the UK and Mrs May and the Tories – and everybody knows where the problem actually is – is messing us about.”
Full List of Candidates for Scotland: Alyn Smith, Christian Allard, Aileen McLeod, Margaret Ferrier, Heather Anderson and Alex Kerr.
The pro-remain party containing ex-Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour breakaway members and supports a people’s vote on the final Brexit deal, with remaining the EU as an option.
Ex-Liberal Democrat and Change UK candidate Peter Griffith’s tweets:
“Brexit is a disaster of tory/liberal politics of the last ten years. Misguided attempts to deliver democracy to a country desperate for great leadership. Our political system is on the point of collapse. Show you want a change by voting change UK in this election. “
Full List of Candidates for Scotland: Peter Griffiths, Kate Forman, Heather Astbury, Colin McFadyen and Cathy Edgeworth.
The UK Independence Party are pro-leave and pro-hard Brexit. The ex-party leader Nigel Farage, who was the face of the party through the referendum, has since distanced himself from the group, instead establishing ‘The Brexit Party’. UKIP have confirmed they could reject Article 50 and are not opposed to a no-deal option.
Candidate Donald Mackay states:
“We believe the current UK government are deliberately trying to sabotage the whole thing and making it into a much longer story than it needs to be, because deep down they don’t want to leave. We want complete departure. Just leave.”
Full List of Candidates for Scotland: Donald MacKay, Janice MacKay, Otto Inglis, Mark Meechan, Roy Hill and Neil Wilson.
The Brexit Party
Having yet to publish a manifesto, the group has promised to continue the will of the people from the referendum, with the sole purpose of delivering Brexit.
In reference the Scottish Brexit vote share, candidate Louis Stedman-Bryce stated:
“The forgotten one million Scots have been unrepresented. So my pitch to voters is that I want to give a voice to those one million forgotten Scots.”
Full List of Candidates for Scotland: Louis Stedman-Bryce, Karina Walker, Jim Ferguson, Stuart Waiton, Paul Aitken and Calum Walker.