Tommy Sheppard

MP for Edinburgh East

Catalonia

ballot-box

Yesterday I got back from a holiday – the only time of the year where I switch off from the world.  I turned on my phone to see with horror what was happening in #Catalonia.

The actions of the Spanish authorities were shocking. Images beamed around the world of police violence against young and old alike who simply wanted to cast a democratic vote.  I’m in awe of the voters who remained peaceful and dignified throughout. The image of a Catalan policeman in tears as he protected their rights will stay with me for a long time.

This isn’t about party politics. It isn’t about independence or nationalism in any form. It’s about democracy. Under the UN Charter, all peoples have the right to self-determination – the right to determine their own destiny. The right to vote should be something anyone who believes in democracy stands up for and defends.

But I am angry at the response from the UK Foreign Office:

“The referendum is a matter for the Spanish government and people. We want to see Spanish law and the Spanish constitution respected and the rule of law upheld. Spain is a close ally and a good friend, whose strength and unity matters to us.”

Really? No condemnation of the brutality and violence?  Simply you’re our pal so we support you. As Nicola Sturgeon responded last night - A true friend of Spain would tell them their actions are wrong.

And the EU has been worryingly silent. Given it is a union founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, surely there must now be a question mark over whether Spain is fulfilling its EU treaty obligations.

Ultimately these actions will only fuel the desire for autonomy in Catalonia. Today the Catalonian Government has declared that the citizens of Catalonia have won the right to an independent state in the form of a republic. This isn’t over.

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Sunday, 25 February 2018

Tommy's Blog Articles

Tommy Sheppard
21 February 2018
Tommy's Blog
My work for you in Westminster
Contributions

The Scottish Government is already giving EU citizens the right to vote in Scottish Parliament elections. At today's Cabinet Office questions I asked the UK Government to extend the right to vote to all those legally living here.

 

Tommy Sheppard
04 February 2018
My work for you in Edinburgh East
Tommy's Blog
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My work for you in Westminster
You may be aware that last week the Scottish Government implemented an effective ban on electronic shock collars for dogs. These are barbaric devices that have no place in the training of dogs. I congratulate Ben Macpherson MSP on his campaign to get this action. However, the Scottish Government have one hand tied behind their back as powers over the sale of such devices is reserved to Westminster...
Tommy Sheppard
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Tommy's Blog
My work for you in Westminster
Contributions

Given the numerous, and pretty serious, incidents in Edinburgh East on Bonfire Night I was very happy to take part in the Westminster Hall debate on an e-petition relating to fireworks. Here's a few clips from the speech.

Fireworks Debate - 29th Jan 18

 

Roz Currie
26 January 2018
Tommy's Blog
Press Release - Friday 26th JanuarySNP politicians are calling on the Tory government at Westminster to use its reserved powers to ban the sale of electronic shock collars across the UK.   Leading animal welfare groups united this week to praise the SNP Scottish Government’s decision to use its devolved powers to introduce a “prompt and effective” ban on the use of shock collars and other forms of...
Tommy Sheppard
26 January 2018
Tommy's Blog
Contributions

Here's my speech at the Council of Europe urgent debate on Palestine. Trump's recent actions have made America's role as a mediator untenable. It now falls to Europe to step up to find a solution for Israel and Palestine.