It is no secret that Scotland is facing an uncertain future. As a member of the United Kingdom, it is expected to withdraw from the European Union, in spite of the fact that a significant 62% of the Scottish population voted to remain in the EU. Since then, there have been discussions about a potential second referendum on Scottish Independence, regarded as “highly likely” with Nicola Sturgeon expressing her view that Scotland has a “strong position” to veto Britain’s exit from the EU, following her meeting with Theresa May.
In the face of this present uncertainty, it is crucial that whilst Scotland’s future is being decided, a new commitment needs to be made to the communities across Scotland. This commitment should revolve around sustaining the resilience of these communities, giving them reassurance that their voices are still being listened to by policymakers at all levels and that their interests are still being represented. This will empower them to feel that they can address local challenges according to the wishes of the local people. This is as true for farmers and fishermen as it is for those living in Scotland’s big cities.
The Scottish question is a salient one. As Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland's Place in Europe, your unique insight into this topic and your perspective on how Scottish communities can be supported to thrive in these uncertain times would make your contribution invaluable. The Institute for Social Renewal has conducted extensive research into regional devolution and community renewal; you can find a link to their most recent pamphlet entitled ‘Devolution Revolution’ here
Alison Thewliss MP - Shadow SNP Spokesperson for Cities