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Scottish public figures in call to halt Brexit

18 Juillet 2017

"We recognise a narrow majority voted to leave the European Union, but the disastrous consequences are now becoming ever clearer - every day".

"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 signatories include Lord Campbell of Pittenweem, former leader of the Liberal Democrats, the former first minister Henry McLeish, the SNP MEP Alyn Smith, the former Tory MEP Struan Stevenson, and the former defence secretary and ex-Nato secretary general Lord Robertson.

They are backed by a Who's Who of Scotland's intellectual elite, including historians Sir Tom Devine and Chris Smout; former chief medical officer Sir Harry Burns; scientist and Edinburgh University vice-dean Professor Anne Glover; distinguished global jurist Sir David Edward; businessman and diplomat Lord John Kerr; and trade union leader Grahame Smith.

In the letter to The Herald they say: "We see our society, economy and politics".

"Even before the United Kingdom has left the European Union, we face falling living standards, rising inflation, slowing growth and lower productivity".

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"Our global reputation has been seriously damaged, leaving the United Kingdom weak, with diminished influence, in an increasingly uncertain and unstable world".

It adds: "In a democracy, it is always possible to think again and to choose a different direction".

And they emphasise the need for the United Kingdom to build a more equal society as part of a wider push, from inside the European Union, for a fairer Europe. We ask our fellow citizens, and our politicians, to think again.

In a separate interview Mr McLeish said it was clear that the Brexit negotiations, which resumed on Monday, were being "shambolically" handled by the UK Government and were "going nowhere". What happens then to climate change?

He said he hoped for a change in the Labour Party's position following a general election he felt had demonstrated a shift in opinion. We need to have a debate about how to build a better, fairer, more equal society.

"This is about the future of Britain, this is a new battle for the future of Britain".

Scottish public figures in call to halt Brexit