Since this is the first column of 2020, happy belated new year to you and yours...

Obviously here in Scotland we’ve now been marched out the EU by a Westminster government that quite simply does not care what the people of Scotland think or vote, in its determination to throw all caution to the wind and jump off the economic cliff that will be Brexit, despite all the information available to them telling them of the future consequences. We in the SNP will continue to campaign against this.

Just a small reminder that we are not out yet, all we have done is leave the decision making body. Westminster has until December to get “all those easy treaties” they promised, or leave with “no deal” with the economic consequences that will follow when “Borders and Tariffs” hit exports.

On the domestic front, near Christmas I was happy to meet with the striking university lecturers and wish them well in trying to win a decent settlement from the university boards. I was happy to urge the boards to negotiate a settlement on the range of issues that are in dispute.

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Along with all the Glasgow MSPs, including the First Minister, I was happy to sign MSP Bob Doris’s letter to Glasgow City Council regarding the procedures being used to introduce the new Glasgow Communities Fund which we all agreed needed to be re-opened as the criteria being used to sift the number of groups claiming from this seemed too proscriptive. I am glad that the council had second thoughts on this but think there is still a bit further we will need to try to go to make the fund work.

Within parliament I have chaired the standards committee while we have moved the Electoral Franchise Bill through to the “second stage”. This law will enable both EU citizens who live and contribute here in Scotland and every registered 16-year-old to vote in all Scottish elections.

I also had the honour of meeting the ladies who had come to Parliament having made a “Bayeux Tapestry” form of the “Declaration of Arbroath” to commemorate the fact April 6 this year is the 700th anniversary of the signing of both the original copies, one being kept in Scotland, and one being carried to the then-Pope John XXII in Avignon by Sir Adam Gordon, which affirmed Scotland’s status as an independent nation and sovereign state. Years later, the American Declaration of Independence was partially based on our Scottish document. I know there are lots of people from around both Clydebank and Glasgow that will be heading to Arbroath on Saturday, March 4 and commemorate the event and I wish them all “good weather and a safe journey”.