I was delighted to be asked to represent Scotland alongside speakers from Ireland and Wales at today’s People’s March for Europe. An excellent turnout, and an important reminder that the fight for Europe is still strong.
In my contributions, I wanted to highlight the energy and determination of the movement for Europe across Scotland, the UK, and indeed beyond in Europe. My thanks to New Europeans Scotland and the People’s March for Europe for asking me to speak.
Speech at Parliament Square:
“How wonderful it is to see you all here today, and what a wonderful demonstration to the Brexiteer leaders down the road that this is not a foregone conclusion, that our movement is strong and energised, and we’re not going away!
“Today’s march is all about reflection and resolve, we’re 18 months away from the cliff edge… but there’s still time, and as we balance the case for Europe with the reality of Brexit, the conclusion is clear.
“Because as the months pass on and as Brexit lumbers on, it is clear that the lies can’t be squared, that the basis for Brexit is an ugly anti-rights low wage low tax economy, and that we have been taken to the brink by opportunistic politicians with no clue and no plan. But I am energised, because the progressive case for Europe grows day by day, and come what may we’re ready to fight for our future in Europe!
“I want to thank organisers today and New Europeans for working to make this a truly national event. The case for Europe must continue to be made and fostered in every part of the country. Whilst people are becoming weary of Brexit, there are still a lot of people who are really angry about the unfair state of our country and economy… our job is to point out the real cause of that pain and to show that that Europe is the answer and the catalyst to creating that better society.
“We do live in a Europe of regions, and the failure of the UK to represent all its parts is a significant aspect of this Brexit mess, so the fight for Europe needs to happen at every part of this country, and the demand for our future in Europe also requires a demand for a better democracy that safeguards our hard won rights, so they can’t be used as negotiation tools and so that all of our fellow citizens have their stake and future represented in our democracy.
“I speak here today as a passionate Scot and a passionate European, of the Maastricht generation inspired by the gains of Europe and determined for the future of Europe. Our unity and shared vision for a progressive continent of peace, progress, and prosperity knows no bounds, and we stand here today to affirm that Brexit is not inevitable… and we’re still fighting! Thank you.”
This speech was originally reproduced on Gary's own blog here.