A HOLYROOD SNP hopeful has called on Nicola Sturgeon to hold a referendum on rejoining the EU within two years of Scotland gaining independence.
Toni Giugliano who is seeking to become Dumbarton’s first SNP MSP urged the party to publish a blueprint to set out a strategy to see Scotland heading back into the EU. It comes after the SNP put forward the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Bill will provide for continuity of provision that would otherwise be lost with Brexit.
The new Bill will mean, on devolved matters, Scottish law can keep in line with those in Europe “when appropriate and practicable to do so”.
The discretionary power will come into effect after the transition period ends on December 31.
The Bill also includes provisions to ensure EU environmental principles and governance can continue in Scotland.
Part of this would see a new body called Environmental Standards Scotland set up to ensure compliance with environmental law.
These new laws will also make it much easier for Scotland to rejoin the EU if the country gained independence from the UK, should the Scottish people wish to do so.
In a column, Mr Giugliano said today: “Denouncing Brexit and the damage it will do to Scotland’s economy while simultaneously proclaiming our pro-European identity is no longer enough.
“Scotland needs a strategy on how it will rejoin the EU – or at the very least the Single Market, in line with just about every other country in Western Europe.”
The MSP hopeful, who formerly worked in the European Parliament, called for a Commission on Scotland’s Future in Europe to be created.
This Commission, he suggested, should explore Scotland’s future role in the EU and should report back to the Scottish Parliament by Spring next year.
He added: “The Commission’s report would also play its part in refreshing the SNP’s now-outdated policy on Europe ahead of the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections.
“That refreshed policy should include a clear commitment to hold a confirmatory referendum on Europe within the first two years of independence.”
It comes after Tory MSP Adam Tomkins criticised the SNP government’s EU Bill stressing that it would effectively take power to change laws away from the Scottish parliament and put it into the hands of EU ministers.
Scotland’s Constitution Secretary Michael Russell stressed about the Bill: “It is completely unacceptable that Scotland has been taken out of the EU.
“It [The Bill] is required as a direct result of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and is more urgent because of the UK Government’s reckless refusal to ask for an extension to the Brexit transition period.
“The Bill’s proposals on environmental principles and governance will also help us to maintain high standards, in line with the EU, in Scotland.”
The Bill is currently going through scrutiny in the Scottish Parliament and would partially reflect the will of the Scottish people who voted to remain in the EU in 2016.