The UK leaving the European Union is dominating everything in Westminster. The Supreme Court rightly decided that Parliament had to have a say and as a result we had 2 days of debate this week. I managed to get in for a few minutes in the last hour of the debate and you can watch it here. I've also outlined my position on the vote here.
The SNP Scottish Government has already produced their own paper outlining how Scotland’s position can be protected. Scotland can remain part of the European Economic Area (EEA) even if the rest of the UK does not – leading to a relationship with the EU like Norway has. It would enable us to retain access to the single market and retain the freedom of movement of people that our country needs and benefits so vastly from. If you’ve not already had a look I highly recommend you read the paper, Scotland’s Place in Europe. You can access it here.
Something else is dominating the international agenda and consumes the imagination of every person who dares hope for a better world. Trump. I joined the protest outside Downing Street to demand that there is no state visit from Trump whilst his discriminatory policy remains in place and was proud of the scenes in Edinburgh. It would be outrageous to roll out the red carpet to a man who demonstrates such contempt for our fellow human beings, and for the democratic values on which this country is based. Read more on my views here.
One of the debates that received less publicity this month was the Report Stage debate of the Commonwealth Development Corporation Bill. I outlined the importance of international aid and the need to ensure projects are tackling poverty or combating inequality and contributing to achieving the sustainable development goals. You can watch my contribution here or read it on my website.
I have pledged my support to the Oxfam campaign Red Line for Yemen (find out more about it here) and will continue to raise this matter at every opportunity. It is an utter disgrace that the UK continues to sell arms to Saudi Arabia that are being used in Yemen.
Very happy to support the beating bowel cancer campaign. If you've reached your 50th birthday and been sent a screening kit, use it. It might just save your life.
Time is running out for many of Edinburgh's small businesses. Today I've written to the Chancellor asking for additional emergency assistance for our hospitality sector through the COVID-19 epidemic.