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Alyn Smith (born 15 September 1973) is a Scottish politician, and Scottish National Party Member of the European Parliament for Scotland.

Alyn Smith

Alyn Smith MEP 003.jpeg
Member of the European Parliament
for Scotland
Assumed office
10 June 2004
Preceded byNeil MacCormick
President of the European Free Alliance group
Assumed office
11 June 2019
Preceded byJosep Maria Terricabras i Nogueras
Personal details
Born (1973-09-15) 15 September 1973 (age 45)
Glasgow, Scotland
NationalityScottish
Political partyScottish National Party
ResidenceEdinburgh
Alma materUniversity of Leeds
Nottingham Trent University
ProfessionLawyer
Websitealynsmith.eu

Contents

Early life and educationEdit

Smith was born in Glasgow in 1973 and grew up between Scotland and Saudi Arabia.

After returning to Scotland in 1986, he studied law and European law at Leeds University and spent a year studying on the Erasmus Programme at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. Later, he graduated from Nottingham Law School (a department of Nottingham Trent University) in 1996, and gained a master's degree in European studies from the College of Europe in Natolin (class of 1994-1995). He also for one year taught English in India and worked with Scotland Europa in Brussels.[1]

Smith later moved to London where he qualified as a lawyer with commercial law firm Clifford Chance.

Political careerEdit

Prior to his election he worked for the SNP in Holyrood. He contested Edinburgh West for the SNP at the 2001 general election, coming fourth. At the 2003 Scottish Parliament election, he contested the same seat, again coming fourth.

Smith was elected for the first time - as Scotland's youngest MEP - in the 2004 European Parliament election. He has since been re-elected twice at the 2009 European Parliament election, and 2014 European Parliament election.[2] He sits as a member of the currently seven-strong European Free Alliance Group in the Parliament, which retains its own identity within the joint Green-European Free Alliance Group.[3]

He is a member of the SNP's National Executive Committee.

In his first two terms in the European Parliament, Smith served as a full member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development winning the coveted Scottish Farmer Magazine award for "Outstanding Contribution to Scottish Agriculture" at the Highland Show in 2009.

Since his re-election in 2014, Smith serves as a full member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, remaining a voice in agriculture as alternate member of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee. He is also a full member of both the Delegation for relations with the Arabian Peninsula, and the Delegation for relations with Iraq.[4]

On 27 March 2019, in a brief speech to the European parliament, Smith stated that Brexit will cause the people of Scotland to be removed from the EU against their democratically expressed will, and that Scottish independence from the UK could provide a means for Scotland to rejoin the EU. Many newspaper headlines cited his closing line: "I'm asking you to leave a light on so we can find our way home."[5][6][7][8]

Smith was re-elected as an MEP for Scotland in the 2019 European Parliament election.[9] On Sky News in May 2019, Smith claimed that the Brexit Party is "a shell company that’s a money laundering front". After the party's chairman threatened legal action,[10][11] Smith apologised unreservedly and admitted that he had no evidence for his allegation, made a major contribution to the party chairman's legal costs and made a donation to charity.[12]

After the election, Smith became President of the European Free Alliance group in the European Parliament, and by holding that office, First Vice-President of the Greens/EFA Group.[13]

Personal lifeEdit

Smith is gay, and lives in Edinburgh.[14]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Alyn Smith - SNP2015
  2. ^ "MEPs: Alyn Smith: History of parliamentary service". European Parliament. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  3. ^ "European Free Alliance". Retrieved 6 January 2019.
  4. ^ "About Alyn Smith". alynsmith.eu. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  5. ^ "'Leave a light on' for Scotland, pleads MEP to European colleagues". Belfast Telegraph. 27 March 2019. Archived from the original on 28 March 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  6. ^ McCall, Chris (27 March 2019). "SNP MEP tells European Parliament to 'leave the light on' for Scotland". The Scotsman. Archived from the original on 27 March 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  7. ^ Clegg, David (27 March 2019). "'Leave a light on' for independent Scotland, pleads SNP MEP to European leaders". Daily Record. Archived from the original on 28 March 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  8. ^ EU Reporter Correspondent (28 March 2019). "'Leave a light on for Scotland', urges Alyn Smith MEP". EU Reporter. Archived from the original on 28 March 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  9. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-48403131
  10. ^ "Brexit party issues legal threat to SNP MEP Alyn Smith". scotsman.com. 29 May 2019.
  11. ^ "SNP MEP Alyn Smith threatened with legal action by Brexit Party". heraldscotland.com. 29 May 2019.
  12. ^ "Alyn Smith: SNP MEP apologises over Brexit Party 'money laundering' claim". BBC News. 17 June 2019. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  13. ^ "SNP MEP elected President of EFA Group in the European Parliament". EFA Group. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  14. ^ "Alyn Smith MEP: About Alyn".

External linksEdit