Edinburgh’s Rally for Europe to call for Brexit rethink
A ‘Rally for Europe’ in Edinburgh to be held on Saturday 14th October will urge the UK Government to ‘Think Again’ on Brexit and for Scotland’s Cities to sign up to an Open Declaration. This will speak out against the damaging impact of Brexit and show leadership from Cities in working to mitigate its negative impact on Scotland.
The Edinburgh Rally for Europe will take place on Saturday (14th October) at 2pm on the High Street outside Edinburgh City Chambers.
It is being organised by the Young European Movement and the European Movement in Scotland. Speakers include Tommy Sheppard MP (SNP), Ian Murray MP (Labour), Patrick Harvie MSP (Green), Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP (Liberal Democrat) and Susannah Rae, Perth for Europe.
The rally will promote the benefits of the EU locally and the positive case for remaining in the EU and rejecting Brexit. It shows that the Remain movement is determined, passionate, will not be silenced, with 62 per cent of those in Scotland voting to remain in the EU.
Twelve rallies will take place on the same day including in Newcastle, York, Nottingham, Bristol, Cardiff, London, Cambridge and Reading, Liverpool and Birmingham. These mirror the 12 European Parliamentary constituencies.
Speakers at the rally will urge other Cities in Scotland to follow City of Edinburgh Council’s lead and sign up to an Open Declaration, spearheading opposition to Brexit and becoming hubs of EU activity and connections. Residents of Edinburgh voted 74 per cent to Remain the EU. Indeed, all Scotland’s cities voted to Remain in the EU.
On Monday 2 October, Edinburgh City Council adopted a motion regretting the outcome of the 23rd June referendum vote, calling on the UK Government to avoid the worst damage by pursuing continued membership of the Single Market and Customs Union and instructing its officials to identify all possible ways in which the damage can be mitigated. All parties supported the motion apart from the Conservatives
The Declaration will call on “Scotland’s cities to show leadership and speak out against damaging Brexit because our citizens are better off in the European Union.”
It also calls for cities to work to mitigate the damage to our economy and citizens by taking the following steps:
· Devolution of immigration powers to Scotland
· Campaign for fully-equal status of EU nationals
· Work to resist barriers to travel with the EU to promote tourism to our cities and remain attractive hubs for airlines.
· Champion high environmental standards and consumer protections going forward aligned with and in support of EU standards.
· Keeping dynamic channels of engagement and influence open with other cities across Europe and with the EU institutions (a full copy of the ‘Open to Cities Declaration’ is available in Notes to Editors).
In a major study published in July by think tank, Centre of Cities, Edinburgh was identified as likely to be the sixth worst impacted major conurbation in the UK to be most affected by Brexit, lying just above London. Aberdeen was identified as the major conurbation likely to be worst affected in the 62 city study.
This report further confirms the damage which taking us out of the EU is likely to do to our economy – and the threat of an extreme Brexit, outside the Single Market and Customs Union will undoubtedly cause severe long-term economic damage, hitting jobs, growth and living standards.
Vanessa Glynn, Chair of the European Movement in Scotland, said: “More than fifteen months on from the Brexit vote, the current UK Government still has no clear idea of where it’s going.
“As groups rally up and down the country, information about disarray within the cabinet is trickling down. The clock is ticking with negotiations on Britain’s future relationship with EU still on the starting blocks, and yet we do not see any clarity about the relationship that will follow between the UK and the EU, nor between the constituent nations of the UK.
“One cannot help but wonder when the cabinet will hear the increasing concerns from the man or woman on the street.
“We are taking this opportunity to urge Scotland’s cities to spearhead opposition to Brexit and to mitigate the damage to our country as this process takes place.”