A Scottish Saltire (C) flies between a Union flag (L) and a European Union (EU) flag in front of the Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh, Scotland on June 27, 2016. British leaders battled to calm markets and the country Monday after its shock vote to leave the EU, while insisting London would be not rushed into a quick divorce. Britain's historic decision to be the first country to leave the 28-nation bloc has fuelled fears of a break-up of the United Kingdom with Scotland eyeing a new independence poll, and created turmoil in the opposition Labour party where leader Jeremy Corbyn is battling an all-out revolt. / AFP / OLI SCARFF (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Sir, We come from a broad range of sectors across our society — business, education, law, politics, public services, unions, non-governmental organisations and more. We see our society, economy and politics becoming ever more undermined due to the impact of Brexit. We recognise that a narrow majority voted to leave the EU but the disastrous consequences are becoming clearer every day. Even before the UK has left the EU, we face falling living standards, rising inflation, slowing growth and lower productivity.

Our international reputation has been seriously damaged, leaving the UK weak, with diminished influence, in an increasingly uncertain and unstable world. EU citizens who have made a huge social and economic contribution to our society have been left in profound uncertainty; many have already left, many more are considering leaving. UK citizens elsewhere in the EU are in an unacceptable limbo too.

In a democracy, it is always possible to think again and to choose a different direction. We need to think again about Brexit, to have a UK-wide debate about calling a halt to the process and changing our minds. The UK has been a major and influential actor in Europe and can be again. We need to have a debate about how to build a better, fairer, more equal society. Then we will be in a position to contribute to an EU-wide debate on creating a fairer, more equal Europe.

We call for a national debate on Brexit. We ask our fellow citizens, and our politicians, to think again. It is time to call a halt to Brexit.

Prof David Bell

Stirling Management School, University of Stirling

Andrew Bolger

Former Scotland Correspondent, Financial Times

Prof Christina Boswell

School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh

Prof Sir Harry Burns

Professor of global public health, University of Strathclyde

Rt Hon Lord Campbell of Pittenweem

Dr Chad Damro

University of Edinburgh

Prof Emeritus Sir Tom Devine

University of Edinburgh

Christine De Luca


Richard Dixon

Director, Friends of the Earth Scotland

Sir David Edward

Professor Emeritus, Edinburgh University Law School and former European Court of Justice judge

John Edward

Former head of European Parliament Office in Scotland/Former EU policy manager, Scotland Europa

Colin Imrie

European policy analyst

Maria Fletcher

Director, Scottish Universities Legal Network on Europe

Lord Foulkes of Cumnock

Dr Peter Geoghegan

University of the West of Scotland

Gwilym Gibbons

Creative Help Ltd

Dame Anne Glover

Vice Principal for External Affairs and Dean for Europe, University of Aberdeen

Vanessa Glynn

Chair, European Movement in Scotland

Michele Gordon

Director, The Language Hub

David Gow

Editor, Sceptical Scot, and editor, Social Europe

Dr Eve Hepburn

Chief executive, Fearless Femme CIC

David Hood

Director, Edinburgh Institute for Collaborative & Competitive Advantage

Dr Kirsty Hughes

Director, Scottish Centre on European Relations

Helen Hunter

Education officer (retired)

Helen Kay

Stefan G Kay

Patricia Kelly

Retired Teacher

Lord Kerr of Kinlochard

Mark Lazarowicz

Former Labour MP 2001-15, Edinburgh North

Graham Leicester

International Futures Forum (in a personal capacity)

Baroness Liddell of Coatdyke

Former Secretary of State Scotland and former High Commissioner to Australia

Dr John MacDonald

Director of the Scottish Global Forum and editor of CABLE magazine

Gordon Macintyre-Kemp

Author and Chief Executive, Business for Scotland

Dame Mariot Leslie

David Martin MEP

Monica Martins

Managing Director, WomenBeing Project

Marilyne MacLaren

Retired politician and educationalist

Rt Hon Henry McLeish

Former First Minister

Maggie Mellon

Former executive board, Women for Independence and social work consultant

Prof Steve Murdoch

University of St Andrews

Isobel Murray

Prof Emeritus Modern Scottish Literature, Aberdeen University

Dr Kath Murray

Criminal Justice Researcher

Andrew Ormston

Director of Drew Wylie Projects

Alex Orr

Managing Director, Orbit Communications (in a personal capacity)

Robert Palmer


Ray Perman

Author and journalist

Willis Pickard

Former editor TES Scotland and Rector, Aberdeen University,

Dr Janet Powney

Consultant in education and evaluation research

Lesley Riddoch

Ian Ritchie

Software entrepreneur

Baron Robertson of Port Ellen

Former Secretary of State for Defence, former secretary-general, Nato

Bill Rodger

Treasurer, European Movement in Scotland

Anthony Salamone

Research Fellow and Strategic Adviser, Scottish Centre on European Relations

Prof Andrew Scott

University of Edinburgh

Anne Scott

Secretary, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Scottish Branch

Peter K Sellar

Advocate, Axiom Advocates Faculty of Advocates, Edinburgh

Prof Jo Shaw

University of Edinburgh

Dr Kirsteen Shields

Lecturer in Public Law, University of Dundee

Martin Sime

Chief Executive, SCVO

Alyn Smith MEP

Grahame Smith

General Secretary STUC

Prof Michael E Smith

Professor of International Relations, University of Aberdeen

Prof Chris Smout

Historiographer Royal of Scotland and Emeritus Professor, University of St Andrews

Struan Stevenson

Former MEP and European Movement in Scotland Vice President

Bob Tait

Philosopher and former Chair, Langstane Housing Association, Aberdeen

Lord (Jim) Wallace of Tankerness

Lib Dem Peer & former Deputy First Minister

Sir Graham Watson

Former President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party (ALDE Party), former MEP

Dr Geoffrey Whittam

Reader, Glasgow Caledonian University

Fay Young

Director of a digital media company

*This letter has been published online only

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2023. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window) CommentsJump to comments section