New Partnership with the EU

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:51 pm on 17th January 2017.

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Photo of Peter Grant Peter Grant Scottish National Party, Glenrothes 1:51 pm, 17th January 2017

I thank the Secretary of State for the advance copy of his speech, and for recognising the correct place to make this statement; it certainly was not at Lancaster House. Today, the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State have completed an unholy trinity of worthless Westminster promises to the people of Scotland. They promised to take account of the 62% remain vote in Scotland and to consider all options for Scotland’s future. They have broken that promise today. They promised during the referendum campaign and in their election manifesto that leaving the EU does not mean we have to leave the single market. Today they are breaking that promise. As for the promise they made in 2014 that remaining in the United Kingdom would guarantee Scotland’s place in Europe—well, we all know where that has gone. I hope the Secretary of State will pass the message back to his boss that if she insists on giving Scotland only one option to remain in the European Union, Scotland will take that option.

We know with certainty that Brexit means hard Tory Brexit. We do not know what it might be disguised as, but we know what it will be. Will the Secretary of State accept, even at this late stage, that the promises that he and Prime Minister made must be honoured? Exactly how does he propose to recognise the 62% remain vote in Scotland and the overwhelming—nay, unanimous—view in Scotland that our membership of the single market and free movement of people into and out of Scotland are essential for our wellbeing? Has he actually read the Scottish Government’s paper, “Scotland’s place in Europe”?