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UK’s Relationship with the EU

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:36 pm on 2nd February 2016.

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Photo of Angus Robertson Angus Robertson Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader 12:36 pm, 2nd February 2016

We in the Scottish National party support remaining within the European Union and look forward to making the positive case for the EU. Yes, it is about the largest single market in the world. Yes, it is about being able to make and influence laws that affect us, but crucially, it is also about a social Europe with rights and freedoms for citizens and for workers. These questions are much, much bigger than the missed opportunities for genuine EU reform that the Prime Minister has been pursuing. He has palpably not delivered anything near Tory promises of treaty reform.

The big questions about remaining in the EU are far bigger than his negotiations and they need full consideration by the electorate. However, we know that there are important elections in May to the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh National Assembly and the Northern Ireland Assembly, and for the London Mayor and the London Assembly. It cannot be right for these elections and a referendum campaign to clash with a June polling day on remaining in the EU or Brexit. Will the Government now take the opportunity to confirm that they will respect the electorates in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and London by not announcing a June referendum date? Will the Government confirm that there are still no safeguards in place which would stop Scotland being taken out of the European Union against the will of the Scottish electorate?