Tele column 26th April 2019

I am sure you are well aware that after nearly three years of attempting to negotiate the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, the U.K. Government has applied for and been granted an extension. Currently the outcome of that is, that unless a deal is agreed before May 23rd, we will be required to hold elections to the European Parliament. These elections are never the most popular and traditionally turnouts have been low. Yet, during the last three years the people of Scotland have recommitted our desire to remain in the European Union. Obviously, not everyone and I respect that but in every poll that has been taken the majority wish to remain in the European Union. I would hope given the opportunity to display that solidarity with the EU, we would take it. The EU elections are a platform for Scotland to express its opinion on Brexit. The candidates will be expressing their view on Scotland’s place in Europe and must be judged on that. Even though most folk seem to be scunnered by the situation we can’t let that lead to apathy or the turnout will be even lower. The right to vote has been fought for, many people have died to protect it, and while I understand the frustrations, now that we have been exposed to the arguments and possible outcomes of Brexit, it is imperative that you register your wishes at the ballot box. I can understand why those that voted ‘Leave’ may be frustrated at having to vote again but equally I would encourage them to do just that. Three years of discussion at Westminster have led us nowhere. It is now time for the wider electorate with a greater understanding of the issues to express their views. The last day to register is the 7th of May, please make sure you are registered to vote.