SNP MP hits out at Brexit during rally marking three years since UK left EU
An SNP MP has said there is “no way to polish that jobbie” at a rally in Edinburgh marking three years since the UK left the EU.
Alyn Smith, MP for Stirling, spoke to hundreds of pro-independence supporters who had braved the rain to gather outside the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday for a “Lights On” event marking three years since the UK’s exit from the EU.
The event was organised by Time For Scotland, which also held rallies when the Supreme Court passed down its decision on whether or not the Scottish Parliament had the legal competence to legislate for a second independence referendum.
Then-prime minister Boris Johnson led the country out of the European Union and into its transition period on January 31 2020, but both the Scottish Greens and the SNP on Tuesday hit out at the UK’s performance since it then split from Brussels.
📢 @AlynSmith: “It’s clear the day-to-day disruption from the UK’s departure from the EU has been considerable; the overall economic cost enormous. You can’t make that work.”https://t.co/PawGuL3mGd
— The SNP (@theSNP) January 31, 2023
Supporters walked from Pollock Halls by torchlight and were encouraged to bring along lights as a nod to Mr Smith’s plea for the European Union to “keep a light on” for Scotland in March 2019.
Mr Smith said: “Where’s the Brexit celebrations, where’s the happiness about all those freedoms we have won?
“Several years after the EU referendum, what have we got to say for it?
“It’s the only negotiation in human history where everybody came out worse at the end of it.
“Scotland has rejected it.
“I’m sick of hearing about Brexit.
“I want to talk about the future, I want to talk about the solution, and that’s independence within Europe.
“It’s not a better Brexit, it’s not making Brexit work, it’s not a softer Brexit.
“There’s no way you can polish this jobbie. The answer is independence.”
Greens MSP and minister for green skills and the circular economy Lorna Slater also addressed crowds.
She said: “It was three years ago we asked Europe to keep the light on for us, because Scotland will come home.
“January 31 2020 was a dark day for democracy. It showed how little the views of the people of Scotland mattered to Westminster.
“The UK Government doesn’t want us to have our say.
“Brexit was always based on a series of mistruths and lies.”
She said the UK Government had “always wanted” to “rip up” workers’ rights and environmental protections.
“Everything we warned would happen, has happened,” she added.
“The longer Brexit endures, the harder it will be to oppose.
“With the powers of a normal, independent country, we can do so much better.
“We could be a voice for peace, justice, human rights and for our planet.
“We could be a republic, where our leaders are elected, rather than inheriting power and wealth.”