68 sign letter on EU withdrawal
Westminster urged to re-think Brexit plan
A number of individuals from Scottish politics, academia and business have come together to call for Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union to be halted.
In an open letter, more than 60 have expressed their “deep concern” at the damage Brexit is causing to the economy and society.
They say they “recognise that a narrow majority voted to leave the European Union, but the disastrous consequences are now becoming ever clearer.”
Those signing include former EU ambassador Lord Kerr, ex-Nato general secretary and Scottish Secretary Baron Robertson of Port Ellen and the former LibDem leader Lord Campbell of Pittenweem.
Also signing are Grahame Smith, General Secretary of the STUC, the historians Prof Tom Devine and Prof Chris Smout, former Scotland First Minister Henry McLeish, the businessman Ian Ritchie and former Conservative MEP Struan Stevenson.
The signatories urge a re-think and for the UK to build a “fairer, more equal country” as part of a wider push, from inside the EU, for a fairer, more equal Europe.
The full text of the letter and list of signatories:
“We come from a broad range of sectors across our society – business, education, law, politics, public services, unions, NGOs and more.
We see our society, economy and politics becoming ever more undermined due to the impact of Brexit. We recognise that a narrow majority voted to leave the European Union, but the disastrous consequences are now becoming ever clearer – every day.
Even before the UK has left the EU, we face falling living standards, rising inflation, slowing growth and lower productivity.
Our international reputation has been seriously damaged, leaving the UK weak, with diminished influence, in an increasingly uncertain and unstable world.
EU citizens who have made a huge social and economic contribution to our society have been left in profound uncertainty – many have already left, many more are considering leaving. UK citizens elsewhere in the EU are in an unacceptable limbo too.
In a democracy, it is always possible to think again and to choose a different direction. We need to think again about Brexit, to have a UK-wide debate about calling a halt to the process and changing our minds.
The UK has been a major and influential actor in Europe and can be again. We need to have a debate about how to build a better, fairer, more equal society. Then we will be in a position to contribute to an EU-wide debate on creating a fairer, more equal Europe.
We call for a national debate on Brexit. We ask our fellow citizens, and our politicians, to think again. It is time to call a halt to Brexit.”
Prof. David Bell, Stirling Management School, University of Stirling
Andrew Bolger, former Scotland Correspondent, Financial Times,
Prof. Christina Boswell, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh
Professor Sir Harry Burns, Professor of Global Public Health, University of Strathclyde
The Rt. Hon Lord Campbell of Pittenweem CH CBE PC QC
Dr Chad Damro, University of Edinburgh
Professor Emeritus Sir Tom Devine, University of Edinburgh
Christine De Luca, poet
Dr Richard Dixon, Director, Friends of the Earth Scotland
Sir David Edward, Professor Emeritus Edinburgh University Law School and former ECJ Judge
John Edward, Former Head of European Parliament Office in Scotland/Former EU Policy Manager, Scotland Europa
Colin Imrie, European policy analyst
Maria Fletcher Director, Director of Scottish Universities Legal Network on Europe (SULNE)
Lord Foulkes of Cumnock
Dr Peter Geoghegan, University of the West of Scotland,
Gwilym Gibbons, Creative Help Ltd
Prof. Anne Glover, Vice Principal for External Affairs and Dean for Europe, University of Aberdeen
Vanessa Glynn, Chair, European Movement in Scotland
Michele Gordon, Director, The Language Hub
David Gow, Editor, Sceptical Scot, Editor, Social Europe
Dr Eve Hepburn, Chief Executive, Fearless Femme CIC
David Hood, Director, Edinburgh Institute for Collaborative & Competitive Advantage
Dr Kirsty Hughes, Director, Scottish Centre on European Relations
Helen Hunter, Education Officer (retired)
Helen Kay M.A., M.Sc.
Stefan G Kay OBE
Patricia Kelly, Retired Teacher
Lord Kerr of Kinlochard GCMG
Mark Lazarowicz, former Labour MP 2001 – 2015, Edinburgh North
Graham Leicester, International Futures Forum (in a personal capacity)
Baroness Liddell of Coatdyke, former Secretary of State Scotland and former High Commissioner to Australia.
Dr John MacDonald, Director of the Scottish Global Forum and editor of CABLE magazine
Gordon Macintyre-Kemp, Author and Chief Executive, Business for Scotland
Dame Mariot Leslie
David Martin, MEP
Monica Martins, Managing Director, WomenBeing Project
Marilyne MacLaren, retired politician and educationalist
Rt. Hon. Henry McLeish, former First Minister
Maggie Mellon, former executive board, Women for Independence and social work consultant
Professor Steve Murdoch, University of St Andrews
Isobel Murray, Professor Emeritus Modern Scottish Literature, Aberdeen University
Dr Kath Murray, Criminal Justice Researcher
Andrew Ormston, Director of Drew Wylie Projects
Alex Orr, Managing Director, Orbit Communications (in a personal capacity)
Robert Palmer, email@example.com
Ray Perman, author and journalist
Willis Pickard, former editor TES Scotland and Rector, Aberdeen University,
Dr Janet Powney, consultant in education and evaluation research
Ian Ritchie, software entrepreneur
Baron Robertson of Port Ellen, KT, former Secretary of State for Defence, former Secretary General, NATO
Bill Rodger, Treasurer, European Movement in Scotland
Anthony Salamone, Research Fellow and Strategic Adviser, Scottish Centre on European Relations
Prof. Andrew Scott, University of Edinburgh
Anne Scott, Secretary, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Scottish Branch
Peter K. Sellar Advocate, Axiom Advocates Faculty of Advocates, Edinburgh,
Prof. Jo Shaw, University of Edinburgh
Dr Kirsteen Shields, Lecturer in Public Law, University of Dundee
Martin Sime, Chief Executive, SCVO
Alyn Smith, MEP
Grahame Smith, General Secretary STUC
Professor Michael E. Smith, Professor of International Relations, University of Aberdeen
Prof. Chris Smout, Historiographer Royal of Scotland and Emeritus Professor, University of St Andrews
Struan Stevenson, former MEP and European Movement in Scotland Vice-President
Lord (Jim) Wallace of Tankerness Lib Dem Peer & former Deputy First Minister
Sir Graham Watson, former President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party (ALDE Party), former MEP
Dr Geoffrey Whittam, Reader, Glasgow Caledonian University
Fay Young, Director of a digital media company