Edinburgh comes out in favour of Europe on its 60th anniversary
OVER A THOUSAND people gathered in Edinburgh on Saturday (25 March) to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which founded the EU, and to demand Scotland’s voice be heard against Brexit.
Starting at Waterloo Place in the city centre the crowd made it’s way down to the Scottish Parliament where it was addressed by a range of politicians from different parties dedicated to Scotland maintaining it’s relationship with Europe.
Addressing the crowd, Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer, Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP from the Scottish Liberal Democrats and SNP MPs Joanna Cherry QC and Tommy Sheppard rallied the crowd to mobilise and challenge the approaching Tory-imposed hard Brexit.
Also joining the gathering was former Labour Edinburgh MP Mark Lazarowicz and Sir David Edwards – a European Court judge who has made the case for Scotland to stay in the EU.
Marchers give their reasons for being in #Edinburgh today #MarchForEurope2017 pic.twitter.com/hDMhl4nEsn
— Robert J Somynne (@RobertJSomynne) 25 March 2017
Speaking to the crowd in front of the Scottish Parliament, Cherry said: “As the rest of the European Union celebrates 60 years of prosperity and peace the British Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger Article 50 and begin the process of separating the UK from the EU.
“She does that against a background of a referendum campaign that fought in a vacuum of information and of lies and distortion and bigotry with racial prejudice at the fore.
“She has fought tooth and nail to prevent any parliamentary scrutiny of the way forward.
“The people who I represent, the people standing here today – they didnt vote for Brexit.”
Greer was far more explicit in endorsing another referendum on Scottish independence as the only way to save Scotland’s place in the EU.
He said: “We have come here from all political parties and to celebrate Europe. But there will be a choice to make between a hard Brexit driven by an extreme Tory party and a Scotland at the heart of Europe.”
Germans, Dutch, Danes, French, Basque & Polish were out in force reminded of BetterTogether EU promise #MarchForEurope #EU60 #EuropeTogether pic.twitter.com/jIZtmiqNEZ
— Robert J Somynne (@RobertJSomynne) March 25, 2017
Scotland voted by a 62 per cent majority to remain in the EU. Edinburgh voted 74 per cent to remain. This was the highest proportion of Remainers in any city in the UK. The march, which saw over 1,000 people proceed towards the Scottish Parliament, also saw EU nationals come out in force to oppose what they called “being used as bargaining chips” by the UK Government.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May and her government have not guaranteed the rights of EU nationals working and living in the UK, which has left the 180,000 living in Scotland in suspense over their future.
The Scottish Government is presently locked in a political stand-off with the UK Goverment over a second Scottish independence referendum. The Scottish Parliament is expected to vote for a new referendum tomorrow (Tuesday 28 March). May will trigger Article 50, the mechanism used to leave the EU, on Wednesday (29 March) of this week.
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