Candidate for EU parliament president backs Scotland participation in Brexit process

EU Parliament president candidate ‘Scotland’s voice should be heard’

THE GREEN MEP running for the new president of the European Union parliament has called for Scotland’s voice to “be heard” in the upcoming negotiations on the UK’s expected exit from the EU. 

Jean Lambert, an English MEP for London, said that “those voices should be heard” from pro-European nations like Scotland and Northern Ireland during future talks. 

Lambert is the nominee from the Green-European Free Alliance, one of eight major groups in the parliament.

Giving a briefing to European media in Brussels, Lambert told CommonSpace: “I think within the parliament we are very keen that those voices should be heard - that we find a way of doing that within the process that we’ll be using within the European Parliament. It obviously has implications for cross border working, free movement rights, questions about borders in general. Certainly the questions for Ireland - north and south - have to be there and heard. 

“I know that the current person fronting the Brexit process for us, Guy Verhofstadt, has also had meetings with the Scottish administration, representation from Northern Ireland, and Ireland is in the European Union anyway. 

“I think it’s important that they are heard within this.”

The Green-EFA group have been consistent in supporting Scotland’s right to remain in the European Union following every area of the nation voting remain last June. 

Previously: European Greens to gather in Scotland against Brexit

The European Greens held its major conference in Glasgow late last year, in a show of solidarity to Scotland’s democratic vote to remain in the EU. 

Lambert is the second of the main candidates to express support for the Scottish Government’s aim of being involved in the negotiations, and seeking its own position in relation to the EU institutions.

Guy Verhofstadt MEP, the former Belgian prime minister, official parliament negotiator for Brexit and candidate for the liberal group, has already met with Scottish Government ministers twice - and said Scotland should remain in the EU. 

European Parliament appoints pro-Scotland leader to negotiate Brexit deal

The current president Martin Shultz was one of the senior figures who met with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon following the EU referendum result. 

The election of a parliament president involves frenzied discussion and negotiation between the 751 MEPs across the 28 member states. 

Ska Keller told the media that the group had not decided what other candidate to support if Lambert is defeated. 

On the Brexit process, Lambert added that that there was a “complete frustration at the national parliament with the lack of information that is coming” and warned it was causing a “total explosion of speculation”.

The election for a new president takes place of Tuesday 17 January.

Picture courtesy of Euranet_plus

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