Newspaper columnist to speak at Bute social

Michael Gray.
Michael Gray.

A columnist for a national newspaper will be the guest speaker at the Bute branch of the SNP’s social evening this Friday.

Edinburgh-based journalist, Michael Gray, works for CommonSpace, an online news group, and writes a weekly column for The National newspaper.

His work has mainly focused on the fast developing political situation in Scotland, including covering the 2015 and 2016 elections, as well as the EU referendum. He has reported on issues including land reform, fracking, taxation, rent controls, and further devolution.

Following the vote in Scotland to remain in the European Union, Michael visited the EU parliament in Brussels and interviewed a range of politicians and academics on the referendum result - and how it could impact Scotland’s future relationship with Europe.

Michael’s talk, entitled ‘Scotland in Europe and the Road to Independence’, considers the economic threats Brexit poses to Scotland - and whether the hard negotiations ahead create a stronger argument for an independent Scotland.

Ahead of the event, Michael told The Buteman: “While voters in Scotland backed the European Union over five months ago, there is still no clarity over the future of our relationship with Europe.

“With the Tory government divided before years of difficult negotiations begin, that uncertainty will continue and threaten jobs, investment, and businesses in Scotland.

“Scotland’s relationship with Europe will be a major political issue for years to come, and has already led to a fresh debate on the benefits of independence. Whatever your political view, it’s an issue we should all think about given how important it will be.

“In my speech I will outline what has happened since the referendum, and the key issues that will dominate the debate on Scotland’s place in Europe over the next few years.”

The event, which is free of charge and open to all to attend, will be held in the church centre of the United Church of Bute on Friday, November 25. Running from 7-11pm, there will be a finger buffet, raffle, and guests are invited to bring their own wine.