Given the holiday season we are sharing this today rather than later in the week, enjoy!
Scottish Political Insider – Thursday 22 December 2016
This will be the last Insider of 2016 so we would like to thank you for reading this far – and all the kind comments received. Keep them coming! Our first Insider of 2017 will be sent on Friday 6 January but we maintain a 24/7 monitoring service should any major news break.
Holyrood has now risen for the Festive recess, resuming on Tuesday 10 January. Politicians were in an almost jolly mood with the usual season of goodwill pleasantries being exchanged at the last First Minister’s Questions today. Debate on Derek Mackay’s Budget statement (last Thursday) has continued although Brexit continues to cast a long shadow over everything.
The key news of this week has been the launch of the Scottish Government’s own Brexit strategy – and the ensuing debate across the parties.
The First Minister said the paper represents a ‘significant compromise’ on the part of the Scottish Government which believes full membership of the EU is the best option for Scotland and the UK. The document – called Scotland’s Place in Europe – aims to build as much consensus within Scotland as possible and to unify the country around a clear plan to protect our interests.
Opposition parties, of course, disagree with all of them saying that Nicola Sturgeon’s agenda remains independence at any cost.
Scotland’s Place in Europe is worth reading if you do any business at all in the EU. It sets out the Scottish Government’s position that the whole of the UK should remain in the Single Market, and how Scotland could stay in the Single Market even if the rest of the UK chooses to leave. The full statement and link to the document is available here: Scotland’s Place in Europe
In other news this week …
For those of you who are planning to increase your political engagement next year, party conferences are a good starting point. Anyone can attend as a ‘commercial observer’ (fees are usually £250-£400) and Devin Scobie is a veteran of far too many over the years. His first was the 1986 SDP (remember them?) conference in Portsmouth that involved four student pals driving overnight in an old Renault 5. Confirmed Scottish party events next spring are:
- Scottish Conservatives – Friday 3 and Saturday 4 March at the SECC in Glasgow
- Scottish Lib Dems – Friday 10 and Saturday 11 March in Perth
- SNP – Friday 17 and Saturday 17 March – this is also the same weekend as the UK Lib Dem conference in York.
If you are interested in attending, or would like an insight into any issues discussed at the conferences, just let us know.
If you or your organisation would benefit from our political insight and specialist knowledge and contacts at all political levels, please get in touch with our political guru, Devin Scobie on 07900 397 872 or email@example.com