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Meet the Europeans flying the flag for Scotland after courtroom guidelines out second independence referendum


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Their numbers have been few, however the backdrops have been among the many most iconic in Europe. 

Within the hours after Britain’s Supreme Court docket handed down a ruling that stops the Scottish authorities from holding a brand new referendum on independence with out approval from London, supporters in cities throughout Europe gathered to wave Scottish flags and make their voices heard. 

At Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, in entrance of Rome’s Colosseum, and on the Auld Alliance pub in Paris — a stone’s throw from the Eiffel Tower — European mates of Scotland had some extent to make.

“It was a message of help primarily in the direction of the Scottish folks in saying we have not forgotten [former MEP] Alyn Smith’s enchantment when he mentioned Scotland did not let Europe down with the Brexit vote, and we should not let Scotland down. So we’re retaining our phrase as European residents,” mentioned Sarah De Sanctis in Rome. 

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De Sanctis was certainly one of about 20 individuals who obtained collectively at quick discover within the Italian capital, many with private connections to Scotland, to point out solidarity with the pro-independence supporters at 14 rallies round Scotland; and half a dozen throughout Europe organised by the Europe for Scotland group. 

“I used to be dwelling in London when Brexit occurred and I used to be upset. For me, the UK was all the time progressive and open and Brexit was truthfully heartbreaking,” she advised Euronews. 

“Mixed with my love of Scotland” — the place she met her South African husband and obtained married — “it was the right alternative to do one thing for a rustic I actually actually love, and can hopefully result in the undoing of Brexit because of this,” mentioned De Sanctis, who works as a contract translator.

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Describing the UK as “form of a constitutional jail” — a sentiment echoed on a number of latest posts on the 4,000-strong “Italians for Scottish Independence” Fb web page — De Sanctis famous that the UK was capable of depart the EU, whereas Scotland now’s being advised it could possibly’t even maintain a vote on whether or not to go away the UK. 

“The Supreme Court docket determination was disappointing, nevertheless it does not must cease the independence motion, in a method it makes it stronger,” she mentioned. 

Paris supporters rejoice the Auld Alliance

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The Auld Alliance between France and Scotland dates again to the top of the thirteenth century, a notion of diplomatic, cultural and people-to-people ties that has endured greater than 700 years. 

So it appears solely becoming {that a} group of Scottish independence supporters met exterior a pub with the identical identify on the evening of the UK Supreme Court docket ruling.  

“I really feel that just about every little thing I admired about Britain and England has gone down the drain over the past ten years or so — with regards to issues like being a law-abiding nation, the mom of democracy, integrity, an unbiased media, all this has disappeared,” mentioned Gilles Robel, an educational who teaches British research at a college in Paris. 

“I actually do not blame Scotland for desirous to get out, as a result of they really feel that their voices should not heard by the London authorities,” he advised Euronews.

On the time of the 2014 independence referendum, Robel was dwelling in Edinburgh together with his Scottish husband and was towards independence as a result of he understood it meant that Scotland could be unnoticed of the European Union.

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“We had heated discussions at house about it! On the time I felt that membership of the EU was important and that was one of many arguments utilized by folks against independence. However after Brexit, every little thing modified utterly.

“I really feel this reference to the EU is totally important, and it appears like independence is the one method for Scotland to stay part of the EU now,” he added.

Independence supporters in Berlin and Munich

Below the illuminations of the Brandenburg Gate within the German capital, a small group of independence supporters confirmed up on a chilly November evening with their Scottish saltires and EU flags.  

Felix Hoffmann is maybe an uncommon voice for Scotland, on condition that he is by no means visited the nation. At the very least, not thus far. 

“I studied in London and what I discovered actually attention-grabbing at the moment have been the constitutional points, and the democratic deficit already proper after Brexit, when Scotland wished to remain however was taken out of the EU. I used to be shocked and appalled I might say,” he advised Euronews. 

Hoffmann, who works for a German-Syrian civil society organisation, mentioned he additionally cares “deeply” about progressive authorities. 

“I do not assume the federal government in London displays that, however the SNP does.”  

Scottish authorities elevating its profile throughout Europe

The Scottish Authorities has been courting European companions for years, with an increasing diplomatic footprint in its community of Scotland Home hubs (the newest will open in Warsaw) and bilateral visits — together with not too long ago when the de facto overseas minister paid an official go to to Paris. 

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Neil Grey, the Scottish Minister for Europe, advised Euronews that individuals throughout the continent will likely be wanting on the occasions unfolding in Scotland after the Supreme Court docket ruling “and can actually be questioning the democratic values of the UK and whether or not it respects the needs of individuals after they go to the poll field.” 

Grey, who represents a constituency within the West of Scotland, mentioned that Europeans respect democracy and perceive that individuals “ought to be capable of decide their very own futures”. 

The UK authorities and unionist politicians, he added, could have a tough time explaining why Scotland can’t maintain a referendum when the Scottish folks voted for events in Holyrood which can be pro-independence.

“What’s the democratic route by which Scotland can decide its future, and why is it now in spite of everything these years, that the UK is now not a voluntary union of countries?”


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