Conservative Future leaders say if young people wanted to stay in the EU they “should have voted for it”
LEADERS of the Scottish Conservative youth wing have said that US President Donald Trump’s “love” of the UK bodes well for the growing relationship between his administration and the UK Tory Government.
In a Conservative Future fringe meeting at the Scottish Tory conference in Glasgow on Saturday (4 March), leading young members gushed over the new US leader, who has attracted unprecedented protests over his policies including a now suspended ban on citizens from seven Muslim majority nations entering the UK and a border wall with Mexico.
Speaking to an audience of party members, Scottish Conservative future chair James Bundy said he was excited about “Donald Trump’s love for the UK”.
The candidate for Grangemouth in the 2017 local elections told the audience, which also included young US conservative Republicans, that he welcomed the growing relationship between UK Prime Minister Theresa May and Trump.
He said: “For a Britain that’s leaving the EU, May’s visit was a very encouraging sign.
“Our prime minister is striking up a new relationship with the US.
“If young people wanted remain, they should have voted for it.” Robert Weir, Scottih Conservative Future executive committee
“This can only be good.”
Emma Farquhar, chair of Aberdeen University Conservative Association, said that the election of Trump was “encouraging”. Speaking on UK and US relations, she said: “Donald Trump has said things that sound very positive.
“The left are very loud. We should be louder”, she added.
The leading young party members, all of whom were eurosceptics, also chided young people for their engagement in the EU referendum.
Robert Weir, a member of the CF executive and co-director of its policy forum, said: “If young people wanted remain, they should have voted for it.”
Sixty four per cent of 18-24 year-olds voted in the EU referendum in 2016. They voted by 75 per cent for Remain.
Young conservatives, from left to right Robert Weir, Emma Farquhar, James Bundy, Tom Wrench.
Weir said he hoped the EU would abandon freedom of movement after brexit.
Edinburgh University Conservaties chair Tom Wrench said: “Turnout among young people was very low.
“The argument put forward by a few loud remainers [about young people opposing brexit] is hard to sustain given that fact.”
Andrew Morrison, a candidate in East Renfrewshire, said he felt brexit was a rejection of “bureaucrats, experts…the intellegista(sic).”
The meeting was co-organised with the European Conservatives and Reformist group and Scottish Tory MEP Ian Duncan.
Duncan regaled the audience with stories of reactions from EU parliamentarians’ to Brexit.
Speaking about UKIP MEP Nigel Farage, he repeated the Brexit movement’s self commentary, saying that “they aren’t laughing at him now”.
He said that continuing EU member states may have to contribute more to the union after Brexit, and described an EU request for its members to pay more money into the Nato military alliance as “strike one to Donald Trump”.
“If the Tory vision of life outside the EU means pleading with Donald Trump for a trade deal, many people in Scotland will be looking for an alternative.” SNP spokesperson
Speaking about Trump’s erratic nature, he said: “Donald Trump confounds expectations and is unpredictable and that is good, especially in negotiations.”
However, he also cautioned the young Trump enthusiasts that the new president’s “America first policy” would mean “we are not America, we will not be first”.
Responding to the comments, Scottish anti-Trump protest organiser Jonathon Shafi said: “The Tories have no shame when it comes to Trump. They are reconstructing themselves to reflect and enable his politics and worldview, as part of establishing the British state as Trump’s vassal. Theresa May is formally a part of the international far-right movement and must be opposed with vigour.
“The Scottish Tories like to pretend they are different – but this is not the case. Their immediate objective is to prevent the break-up of the UK. Both the Scottish Tory party and May’s Tories at Westminster must be repudiated. Many will see Scottish independence as the key moment in which to express this – in doing so it could unravel the toxic ‘special relationship’.”
Andrew Morrison and Ian Duncan MEP (podium)
An SNP spokesperson said: “The Scottish Tories have quickly become born-again Brexiteers, but even by their standards a whole-hearted embrace of Trump will raise eyebrows.
“Young people across the UK voted overwhelmingly to Remain – just as Scotland did – and now face losing all of the opportunities to work, study and travel that come with EU membership.
“If the Tory vision of life outside the EU means pleading with Donald Trump for a trade deal, many people in Scotland will be looking for an alternative.”
Pictures: Gage Skidmore, CommonSpace
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