In a major speech in Barcelona on Monday 19th May, the Scottish Conservative Euro MP Struan Stevenson will say that a YES vote in Scotland would trigger a wave of secessionist movements across the EU, which would be bad for Britain, bad for Spain and bad for Europe. Urging the people of Catalunya to reject independence, he will argue that a united Spain and a united Britain will be stronger, more economically viable and better able to face the future together.

In his speech at a rally in support of Alejo Vidal Quadras MEP and the centre-right Vox Party, Struan Stevenson will remind his audience that Spain played an historic role in the Act of Union between Scotland and England in 1707, due to the collapse of the Darien Scheme, when Spanish soldiers finally drove a starving and exhausted band of Scottish colonists from Panama in 1699. He will say “This disastrous episode bankrupted Scotland and when it was suggested that all shareholders who had lost money in the scheme would be repaid in full if they signed up to the 1707 Act of Union between Scotland and England, the Scottish aristocracy readily consented and almost overnight, Scotland’s independence was gone. In retrospect I think the Act of Union between Scotland and England was a great and fundamentally significant historic step, so ironically we have the Darien disaster and Spain to thank for the creation of the United Kingdom, which has been a great success story for more than 300 years.”

Arguing that both Scotland and Catalunya would have to leave the EU and seek to re-join as accession states, Struan Stevenson will say: “I agree with Artur Mas, Leader of the Catalan Nationalists, who acknowledges that an independent Catalunya would have to apply for membership of the EU. Sadly he does not seem to have convinced his good friend Alex Salmond about this, as the Scottish First Minister remains very confused over Scotland’s position in Europe following a YES vote.

“Secessionism flies in the face of our modern European and global environment. Sharing a common history, culture and language and yet being open to external solidarity with people from different backgrounds is surely what ‘united in diversity’ is all about? Seeking political disintegration would seem to me to be a betrayal of those core values of solidarity and human integration.”

Struan Stevenson will end his speech with; “I am proud to be Scottish, but I am also proud to be British and proud to be a European.  I believe we are better together and I hope we will stay that way. Europe needs a united Britain and a united Spain. Let’s work together for a better future.”