One of Scotland’s six MEP’s has decided to open a new constituency office in Stirling.
Alyn Smith, who has been an SNP MEP for Scotland since 2004, explained the choice of Stirling as the location and the impact he hopes it will have.
Smith described Stirling as “at the heart of Scotland both historically and in terms of accessibility,” and said Stirling had “strong rural connection” , admitting that he has “a soft spot for the place”.
Asked about the implications of this office for the people of Stirling, Smith said “Stirling voted to Remain in the EU, yet is currently being represented in Westminster by a Leave-voting MP”, something which Smith hopes to “balance out” by being an MEP with a base in Stirling.
The European Parliament has a liaison office in Edinburgh, and Smith explained the differences between that office and the one in Stirling.
The liaison office is “there to support the work of the institution itself and provide educational materials, although it does also highlight the work of the six MEPs for Scotland, quite often through speaking events”.
Smith added that the “looming spectre of Brexit” and the “associated uncertainty” meant that it makes sense to work even more closely and “‘buddy up'” with local politicians
Smith said that some of the new MEP’s who represent other member states “may well consider doing something similar with their own local representatives,” particularly if that member state has “engaged more fully with the EU than the UK traditionally has.”
Feature Image Credit: European Parliament