European Elections: MEPs pledge to support Scotland’s re-entry to the EU

'I wish to express my solidarity with all Scottish citizens who have been deprived by Brexit of a vote in this election.'

A photo of a Scottish independence protest with a Saltire flagm with the word "yes" imposed on it

The European Elections are now underway, running from June 6 – 9. Voters in the 27 nations of the EU are heading to the polls to elect 720 members of the parliament. These members will help shape the political priorities and direction of the EU for the next five years. It is the first time that UK citizens are unable to vote in the elections.

Right and far-right parties are expected to make gains at the expense of the centre-left and centre-ground. As a result, the European Parliament is likely to be more fragmented compared to the last 2019 – 2024 term. Such polarisation is likely to create a more hostile environment for MEPs to agree on draft legislation.

In Britain, which is widely expected to have a Labour government after July 4, the greater fragmentation within the European Parliament could pave the way for potential obstacles within UK and EU cooperation.

But bucking the predictions that the EU will lurch further to the right, is the news that a number of MEPs have promised to support Scotland’s readmittance into Europe.

Scotland voted overwhelmingly (62 percent) to remain in the European Union in the 2016 referendum. Campaigners from Speak Up For Scotland believe that Scotland rejoining the EU would “not only undo the damage of Brexit but also contribute to building a stronger, more inclusive Europe.” The campaign was launched on Europe Day on May 9 and urges MEP candidates to promise to encourage an application from Scotland to rejoin the EU.

The MEPs who have signed the pledge so far, include Irish MEP Clare Daly, French MEPs Marie Toussaint, David Cormand, and Lydie Massard, German MEP Martin Schirdewan , Italian MEP Brando Benifei, Belgian MEP Saskia Bricmont, and Spanish MEPs Fernando Barrena and Jordi Solé. Solé however is not running for re-election in the 2024 European elections. The Catalan politician, who has served as an MEP for the Republican Left of Catalonia since 2017 said:

“I fully support Scotland’s comeback to the EU, either as a member state if their citizens wish Scotland to become an independent state and a member state of the EU, or as part of the UK if Scotland would remain part of it and there would ever be a new decision by the British people to re-enter the EU.”

Maylis Roßberg, President of the European Free Alliance (EFA) party, which consists of various regionalist, separatist, and ethnic minority political parties in Europe, shared her support with the campaign and belief that Scotland “can help us build a better Europe.”

“I wish to express my solidarity with all Scottish citizens who have been deprived by Brexit of a vote in this election, a choice that the Scottish people rejected by 62 percent in the 2016 referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU,” said Maylis Roßberg.

One of the first tasks of the new MEPs will be to elect the president of the European Commission. The current president, Ursula von der Leyen, is seeking re-election.

Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward

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