Scottish Liberal Democrats launch their European Election campaign – IN Britain, IN Europe, IN Work

Given the illustrious collection of single malts that there is in Scottish Party HQ, it’s hardly surprising that the party decided to launch its campaign of for the European elections in a distillery near Edinburgh. Alistair Carmichael, Willie Rennie and George Lyon checked out the products as they outlined the campaign themes.

Rennie, Carmichael and Lyon

There are no local elections in Scotland this year, but there is an added dimension with the approaching independence referendum. The Party of IN arguments apply just as much to Scotland staying in the UK as they do to the UK staying in Europe.

Rennie, Carmiechael, Lyon 2Willie Rennie said:

This European election boils down to one simple question. Are you in or are you out?

Liberal Democrats want Scotland to stay in Britain and in Europe because that means keeping things like the UK pound and protecting the 330,000 Scottish jobs that the EU supports. These are big things that are really worth fighting for.

Our message to the voters is clear. If you want to keep Scotland in Britain, in Europe and in work then you need to back George Lyon and the Liberal Democrats at these elections.

Alistair Carmichael added:

As part of the UK, Scots are benefiting from a Liberal Democrat economic plan that the other parties said would not work. We have seen big increases to the number of Scots in employment and our economy is growing as part of the UK. We should be clear, walking away from the UK family or pulling up the drawbridge at the EU would mean gambling with this recovery.

If people want an MEP who will work tirelessly to keep the UK together and protect jobs by standing up for Scotland at the EU they need to support George Lyon and the excellent Liberal Democrat team.

I was surprised not to see the word “farming” anywhere in their remarks. George has spent most of his life as a farmer and used his time both at Holyrood and Brussels to stand up for Scottish farmers, most recently on electronic tagging for livestock. 

Photos: Adam Clarke

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  • Bill le Breton 5th May '14 - 6:08pm

    IN toxicated ?

  • Richard Dean 5th May '14 - 6:26pm

    Must have been well gone, Bill. The upcoming election isn’t about in or out, it’s about who should represent us while we remain in over the next few years. Campaigns about irrelevant issues aren’t attractive to voters!

  • Afraid the message is irrelevant to most people and out of touch with the reality of this election. More signs of the totally beaten party we support.

  • Charles Rothwell 6th May '14 - 7:37am

    I am not qualified to talk much about Scottish politics but I get the impression that the vast majority of Scots would prefer to see a future linked to countries like Denmark, Ireland and Sweden within the EU rather than stick with a UKIP-dominated England which wants to pull up the drawbridge and turn its back on the single biggest consumer market in the world (which the Leader of Plaid Cymru made abundantly clear was what she thought as well in an interview at the weekend). Would be a nice touch if the ‘super patriots’ of UKIP (unlike all of us ‘traitors to our land of birth’ who actually have the audacity and bare faced conceit to believe in a future for the whole of the UK within a reformed EU) were to provide a major boost to the Scottish ‘yes for independence’ vote! (I can already see Farage gurning at the cameras and saying, ‘Oh, it’s not got anything to do with me!’ (his default reaction to any bad news for the Kippers).

  • Charles Rothwell 6th May '14 - 8:10am

    ..AND please (if any Kippers are following this site (which many do; I wonder if that is a comment on the level of debate and intellectual stimulation one probably encounters on the Kipper equivalent site (“I ‘ate the EU!” “So do I!” “So do I!” “So do I!”)….?) don’t come back and say, “Ah, but you have deliberately ignored NORWAY – why couldn’t Scotland be like them???” I know Kippers are allergic to facts, but here is one nevertheless: Norway has adopted > 75% of EU legislation (6,000 legislative acts in total). It (like Switzerland) also has one industry (oil) which keeps the country afloat (Switzerland’s is financial services, of course) and gives it a niche economy status. The UK’s is much more diverse (and needs to be even more so, as the recent BBC2 series with Digby Jones pointed up). (The Norwegians have also invested millions of their oil revenue in future economic planning (unlike the Tories who threw millions away in paying off ex-miners etc with DLA/early retirement benefits and New Labour who did the same with housing benefit, tax credits, these credits, those credits etc….)

  • Charles Rothwell 6th May '14 - 8:14am

    Further to my inputs above, here is what the polls in Scotland are saying:

    “Scotland rejects UKIP’s advances
    Scotland remains deeply pro-European and has firmly punted UKIP’s advances into touch, writes British Influence’s European correspondent David Gow:

    “Here they limp a dim and distant fourth (10%) behind the SNP (33%) and Labour (31%) and even trail the Tories (12%), according to research published this week by the Scottish Centre on Constitutional Change, Cardiff University and the IPPR think tank.”

    UKip??? Come off it; they are as ENGLISH as fish and chips, pie and peas and a weekend in Blackpool. Even their TITLE is a lie!

  • Charles Rothwell 6th May '14 - 8:20am

    Yet more:

    “Attitudes to Europe vary significantly across the nations of the UK. The English are the most Eurosceptic, while the Scots are the most positive about Britain’s membership. These differences in outlook between England and Scotland could have an impact on the Scottish independence referendum. A strong performance by UKIP in May’s European elections might encourage Scots into the Yes camp if they read it as a signal that England may vote to leave the EU in a future in-out referendum on Europe.”

    Farage – the SNP’s secret weapon? (Thanks to the “super patriot” “defending his birth right”).

  • David Evershed 6th May '14 - 11:51am

    There is a case for staying in a reformed EU.

    However, the claim about jobs is not part of the case. EU countries export more to the UK than the UK exports to the EU countries. If, on exit, trade barriers were raised then it seems likely that substituting UK goods for expensive imports would create more jobs than would be lost from reduced exports.

    Protectionism is not good for a country in the long term and we should be open to competition from all sources because competition is good for a country’s wealth in the long term – one reason toi welcome foreign taleovers of underperforming Uk companies.

  • Robin Bennett 6th May '14 - 12:36pm

    To say that the referendum adds an extra dimension to the Euro election is putting it mildly. Recent Party Political broadcasts, supposedly for the Euro elections by the SNP and (I am told) Labour. were entirely focussed on the Referendum and never mentioned Europe! Pity that George Lyon as the Lib Dem candidate has not eschewed reference to the Referendum and concentrated on offering a continuation of his excellent representation of Scottish, and particularly farming, interests. He might then have retained the support of former Lib Dems voters who now support independence.

  • David Evershed – what do we import from Europe, and what do we export to it? On the simplest level, we export things we currently make and do, and import things we aren’t making or doing at the moment. The idea that we could gain jobs by letting ourselves fall outside the tariff zone ignores the costs, in both time and money, of setting up the infrastructure to provide replacements for the imports. It also doesn’t consider the lack of an alternative market for the exports.

    The other thing is that we wouldn’t be substituting cheap British goods for European imports. In most cases, we would be getting the next best thing from further afield. You can’t substitute imported goods with a home grown alternative overnight, and there are reasons why British made things aren’t always the cheapest. Unless UKIP’s hard right agenda gets implemented alongside their headline idea, in which case there probably will be cheap British goods, just no real domestic market to sell them to.

    Britain outside Europe will either move decisively towards a future where it exists as a deregulated source of cheap goods from dirty industry for the EU, or it’ll drift through another nostalgia government, trying to cobble some mismatched Commonwealth based trade deal together until it realises that the market for its goods and services simply doesn’t exist there. Apart from in India of course, but they’re more interested in competing than in propping up fragile British egos.

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