In just over two weeks’ time – on May 23 – people across the UK will be turning to the ballot box in the European parliamentary elections, and they could not be more important.
Scotland finds itself being dragged along by a broken Westminster system intent on inflicting a Brexit deal that will harm public services, cost thousands of jobs and hit people’s pockets. That is a price Scotland must not be made to pay.
But we can only stop that in its tracks if we act, and with research revealing more than half a million Scots have not registered to vote, we still have work to do. It is vital that we make sure we are registered to vote and that we encourage our friends and family to do the same.
The deadline is tomorrow at midnight and whether or not you back remain or leave, back the SNP or not, the elections are your chance to amplify your voice and help shape the direction of our country.
EU nationals resident in the UK will also be able to cast their vote in the upcoming elections.
It is no secret that since the EU referendum, the Tory Westminster Government has sought to implement “hostile environment part two” on EU citizens through the Settled Status scheme and student fees.
To EU nationals living, studying and working in Scotland, our message could not be clearer – this is your home and you will always be welcome here.
So on May 23, let us send a clear message to the EU that Scotland is a proud European nation and we intend to remain so. And let us send an equally unequivocal message to Westminster that Scotland rejects the increasingly inward looking politics consuming Whitehall.
The tide is turning against the Tories and Labour over Brexit, with both parties heading into the upcoming elections off the back of humiliating losses at the local elections across England last week.
In contrast, poll after poll has shown support for the SNP is surging and a majority believe independence would be better for Scotland than any form of Brexit.
Other polls have shown a 23-point lead in Westminster voting intentions, a 24-point lead for the Scottish Parliament and a 26-point lead for the Euro elections in favour of the SNP.
Unlike the Tories and Labour, the SNP’s message is clear, unambiguous and will put our national interest first.
The SNP will not vote for a Tory Brexit and we will not vote for a Labour Brexit.
That’s because the past three years have revealed there is no such thing as a good Brexit. Whether it is Theresa May’s consistently defeated deal, Labour’s fudged deal,or a catastrophic no deal, it will be our economy, businesses and living standards that pay the price.
That is why the European elections are crucial. We need strong SNP voices to say with one voice that we will not accept a Brexit process which fails to listen to, let alone represent, Scotland’s interests.
Over the weekend, SNP activists were out distributing half a million flyers calling for the brakes to be pushed on Brexit as part of three “Super Saturdays” being held in the run-up to the elections.
They have simple rallying cry – let us send to Brussels a strong contingent of SNP MEPs who will stand up for Scotland’s interests.
Scotland’s future lies in Europe – a vote for the SNP is a vote to stop Brexit.
This article originally appeared in the Daily Record.