By Joan McAlpine
What Scotland Thinks should be read by all decision makers.
A total of 150 organisations and individuals took the trouble to submit their views, some technical and exhaustively researched, others speaking from the heart or from direct experience, to the Scottish Parliament's Committee for Culture Tourism, Europe and External Relations. They were responding to a call for evidence in our enquiry into The EU Referendum and its Implications for Scotland. Parliamentary Committees do not regularly publish a comprehensive synopsis of evidence such as this. But when people take the trouble to engage with politicians, they deserve to have their voices heard. The Scottish Parliament's committee system was established to enhance political engagement and to allow citizens the best possible access to their elected representatives. Brexit: What Scotland Thinks demonstrates how enthusiastic the public, business and civic society is to engage with MSPs on an issue with far reaching implications for Scotland and the people who live and work here.
The overwhelming majority of the submissions expressed concern at the uncertainty caused by the referendum result. By and large, Scotland thinks Brexit is bad for the economy and investment, bad for business and workers' rights, bad for the environment, education and health. It is also bad for people. There was considerable anxiety expressed about the future of EU nationals living in Scotland - for their personal security and the contribution them make to our economy and society.