The Co-President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, Rebecca Harms, spoke to euractiv.com a couple of hours before meeting with Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who is currently visiting Brussels, seeking a solution to keep Scotland in the EU.
Rebecca Harms spoke to euractiv.com’s Senior Editor, Georgi Gotev.
You will meet Nicola Sturgeon in only a couple of hours. She is obviously coming to get assurances that Scotland can remain in the EU if the UK leaves. What are you going to tell her?
We are only starting discussions. It’s a new situation. I think she took the right decision, since the majority of Scottish citizens expressed their will to remain in the EU. So she comes to visit us trying to bridge a gap between the island and Brussels. We will not let Scotland down. But what will be necessary, what will be feasible, what kind of legal procedures she has in her mind, all this we will need to discuss. Let’s not forget that in Westminster, and on Downing Street, there has been no decision to continue [the Brexit process] after the vote to leave the EU.
When you say “we will not let Scotland down”, does it mean that all the pro-European groups in the European Parliament, of which the Green group is part, will be united in the effort to find a solution for keeping Scotland in the EU?
Yesterday (28 June), my colleague Alyn Smith (SNP) spoke in the Parliament and said we did not let the EU down, we fought for you, so now I am asking you, don’t let Scotland down. And he got a standing ovation in the European Parliament, in a way I haven’t seen very often in this house. The majority in the European parliament is committed to the interest(s) of the EU, but again, we cannot decide before those responsible in London make their decisions. You cannot decide on Scotland before you know the procedures between UK and Brussels. But anyway, the fact that they come to Brussels, and fight for their interests, is a good thing.
Are you encouraging Scotland to secede?
There is nothing to encourage. Don’t make what you want to make out of my words. Nobody needs to encourage them. Seventy percent of the Scottish people participated – vast majority voted in favour of the European Union.