Andrea Gee is Office Manager to Paul Masterton MP and a candidate in Scotland for the European Parliament.
My family and friends think I’m mad. “Why stand in an election no one wants?”, they say, “if you want to deliver Brexit, why not stand for the Brexit Party?” they ask.
The answers to these questions are clear. Yes, I want these elections not to be happening and, yes, I want Brexit delivered – but the solution doesn’t lie in burying our heads in the sand or jumping ship to another party. The solution lies in coming together and, in my case, standing for election.
I am doing so in these European elections for three reasons: no more divisive referenda, respect for the result of the EU referendum, and securing a Brexit that works for Scotland and the UK.
“Warm words, clichés and a standard party response”, I hear you say. But in Scotland, where the politics of grievance reigns, the European elections are yet again a vehicle for the SNP’s independence propaganda machine. Nothing is more resolute than my loyalty to the United Kingdom and to preserve the union we need to stand together as a team. I am not letting my vote be used again as a proxy for independence by Nicola Sturgeon.
As part of Ruth Davidson’s team, we are united in our determination to deliver the result of the EU referendum. We are the only major party who has promised to do so. Let’s look at the alternatives.
I’m not sure anyone knows what Richard Leonard’s policy on anything is, let alone Brexit. Dare I say, I’m not sure anyone knows who Richard Leonard is? (The Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, in case you didn’t know.)
The Liberal Democrats in their blatant disregard for democracy are entirely irrelevant, seeking only to repeat a referendum to get the result they want.
The uninspiring Change UK, The Independent Group, the Tiggers – or whatever name they have chosen this week – are the epitome of the liberal elite that so many used their franchise to vote against in 2016, and their bland, corporate facade has failed to cut through.
The SNP are full of contradictions. It seems they have no problem with unions after all – but only unions that take power away from Scotland and the UK. A vote for the one trick pony Brexit Party will deliver electoral success for the SNP, not Brexit.
We are the only major party that will free Scotland from the damaging Common Fisheries Policy, provide a positive vision for Scottish businesses and protect the rights of EU citizens. This is our chance to build a bright future for Scotland. Unlike Nicola Sturgeon, who would rather manufacture chaos for the benefit of her own independence agenda, this is our chance to create a positive vision for Scotland.
To come together as a country and move on, we need as a Party to come together and move on. This election, which candidates don’t want to stand in and members don’t want to vote in, is our chance to send a message that we want Brexit; we want it secured as soon as possible. That is our message to Parliamentarians in Westminster on Brexit – and our message to Nicola Sturgeon is: start respecting the results of referenda.
I can’t guarantee that you will agree on Brexit with the the person sitting next to you on the train, the people you work with or your nearest and dearest but, since June 2016, it doesn’t matter which side you were on – we voted as the United Kingdom and the result of our vote should be respected. There is one thing I think we can all agree on though. We have had enough of Brexit delay, and we want our politicians to concentrate on what matters to us: our schools, hospitals, communities and economy. To achieve this, we need to move on together. Your vote will help us do that.