Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, today welcomed the Scottish Parliament’s rejection of the Article 50 Bill meant to begin the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. This follows a vote that took place yesterday evening, which saw an overwhelming victory of 90 to 34 in favour of rejecting the bill. The final vote on the Article 50 Bill is set to take place today, 8 February 2017 in Westminster.
Commenting on the vote, Mr. Beattie said:
“I am sure that this overwhelming victory for Scotland will send a message to the Tory government at Westminster that we are not willing to be forcibly removed from the EU.
‘The people of Scotland have a voice, and through this vote we have raised it to remind Westminster that we are here, that we matter, and that we are not going to take this dismissal of Scotland’s views sitting down.
‘The people of my constituency have made it known that our involvement with the European Union is vital to our continued success. The voting results from the EU Referendum show that in East Lothian, over 64% voted to remain in the EU while just over 62% voted the same in Midlothian. These numbers are not insignificant! The people have spoken, and it is our duty to listen.
‘The funds my constituency receives from EU funding is also significant. Between the years 2014 and 2020 alone, the Tyne-Esk local action group which covers rural East Lothian and rural Midlothian, has allocated £3.49 million for the 2014-2020 LEADER programme which is designed to support rural communities and businesses.
‘Another example of the funding received through the EU is the €2.7 million that has been allocated to projects in East Lothian and Midlothian from Horizon 2020, the EU’s main funding programme for research and innovation.
‘These two examples alone constitute a large sum of money for our constituency, and there’s no guarantee that this, or any other funding will be replaced coming out of the EU.”