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[2nd day]

Part of European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 2:22 pm on 1st February 2017.

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Photo of Angus MacNeil Angus MacNeil Chair, International Trade Committee 2:22 pm, 1st February 2017

I will. They are Mauritania, Palau, São Tomé and Principe, Somalia, South Sudan and East Timor, and soon to join this illustrious group is the United Kingdom. This is playing fast and loose; it is “Cross your fingers and hope it works out for the best.” The UK will find itself, for the first time since 1960, not in a free trade agreement. It joined the European Free Trade Association, the original free trade agreement, in 1960, and that is how it has been since then. I have been told by the Library that every member of the OECD is in a regional trade agreement, and even North Korea signed up to one in 1988. The UK is boldly going where even North Korea fails to go.

If that does not give Members pause for thought, what will? As they head over the edge of the cliff, they will take their constituents and the poorest people of society with them. Let us remember who paid for the bankers: the poorest in society. Who will pay for this fashion of Brexit? The poorest in society will be paying for it. We are feeling our way and crossing our fingers. It is not the best deal for the UK.

Let us remember that the best deal that the UK will now have with Europe will be after we have smashed up the Rolls-Royce. We will head down to the second-hand car dealer and ask him for the best motor he has got, because we have smashed up our Rolls-Royce and thrown it to one side. Having refused to travel in the best possible transport, we are now going for the best after we have smashed up the Rolls-Royce.

This House has to come to its senses, as it did on Iraq, the poll tax, the bedroom tax and numerous other matters. Unfortunately, the people who will pay for this are not here. Members are hellbent on going to any destination so long as it involves leaving the EU. That is gross irresponsibility. There is only thing—I repeat, one thing—that can save Scotland, and that is independence, and independence very soon.