Below is the letter sent on behalf of the SNP Group in the Scottish Parliament in response to 50 European politicians who expressed support for Scotland’s place in Europe. You can read the original letter here.
Thank you for your kind words in support of Scotland’s right to decide our future.
Last month the Scottish Parliament voted in favour of holding an independence referendum once the terms of Brexit are clear. It would be fundamentally undemocratic and completely unsustainable for any UK government to block the will of our national parliament and stand in the way of Scotland having that choice.
It is important to remember that it is the intransigence of the UK government which has brought us to this juncture. The Scottish Government offered a serious compromise plan, which was completely disregarded by the UK government. However, we still risk being dragged out of the world’s largest single market by a Tory government that Scotland rejected and, as you rightly recognise, in spite of the fact that Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain within the EU in last June’s referendum.
Scotland’s voice must not be ignored and, with support from friends across Europe who recognise the important values of democracy and international cooperation, we can ensure that it will not be ignored.
The SNP is a European, internationalist party, leading a European, internationalist country. We hold a longstanding commitment to Europe and intend to set out well before any referendum how our future relationship with Europe will be secured in the event of independence, giving those living in Scotland an informed choice.
We welcome your offer of support in ensuring a swift, smooth and orderly transition of an independent Scotland into the family of independent European nations if Scotland chooses that future in a democratic referendum.
The depth of goodwill from across Europe is indeed heartening as we embark on that process and we look forward to continued close cooperation in the months and years ahead.
Bruce Crawford MSP
Convener of the SNP Group, Scottish Parliament