Petition calls for Remain-backing Scotland to keep European flags at Holyrood

PUBLISHED: 14:51 21 January 2020 | UPDATED: 14:51 21 January 2020

Pro-European protestors outside the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA.

Pro-European protestors outside the Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA.

PA Archive/PA Images

Thousands have signed a petition that calls on Holyrood to keep the European flag flying after the Brexit departure date on January 31st.

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The Union flag, Saltire and the European Union flag fly alongside each other outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA Wire.The Union flag, Saltire and the European Union flag fly alongside each other outside the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA Wire.

The Scottish parliamentary corporate body - made up of representatives from all parties - supported a decision to remove the blue and gold starred flag from parliament's grounds after the UK has departed the EU.

It is likely to make a return for Europe day, but a backbench SNP MSP, Alasdair Allan, criticised the decision to stop flying it daily.

He has lodged a motion calling for the flag to continue to fly in line with Scotland's vote to remain in the bloc.

Allan's motion states: "That the parliament believes that it should continue to fly the EU flag on its grounds, in line with the democratic decisions of Scotland's voters and MSPs to remain in the EU."

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It has been signed by a number of SNP and Green MSPs - but as yet has not won the support of Lib Dem, Labour or Tory politicians.

Now a petition has been created as pressure was increased ahead of the Brexit departure date to reverse the decision, with thousands backing the calls to keep the flag flying.

It says: "Scotland, and its parliament, voted emphatically to reject Brexit, the removal of the European flag stands against that expressed will of the majority of citizens and MSPs.

"Brexit aside, the European flag represents both the EU and the Council of Europe, which the UK and Scotland will continue to remain in, as they have since its conception in 1949."

The Scottish government wants parliament to review the decision.

Brexit secretary Mike Russell claimed it was the "wrong decision which needs to be changed".

The news comes after the Welsh first minister vowed to fly the European flag on special occasions, telling reporters "you haven't seen the end of the flag".

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