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[2nd day]

Part of European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:53 pm on 1st February 2017.

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Photo of Hannah Bardell Hannah Bardell Shadow SNP Westminster Group Leader (Business, Innovation and Skills) 4:53 pm, 1st February 2017

Benjamin Franklin famously said that if we fail to plan, we plan to fail. That is exactly what this Tory Government have done over Brexit, leaving this supposedly equal family of nations with a very stark choice. If you will indulge me, Mr Speaker, I want to pay tribute to Irvine Welsh, Danny Boyle and Ewan McGregor, because I saw “T2 Trainspotting” recently and it inspired me. Choose Brexit. Choose making up numbers from thin air about the NHS and plastering them on the side of buses. Choose racist and xenophobic sentiments seeping out from some corners of the leave campaign. Choose hate crime rising by more than 40% and LGBT hate crime rising by more than 150% in England and Wales following the Brexit vote. Choose taking the people of our nations to the polls on one of the most important issues in a generation with nothing written down and no plan. Choose ignoring the interests of the people of Scotland and my constituents in Livingston, despite the fact that they voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU. Choose leaving the single market, risking 80,000 Scottish jobs within a decade and costing the people of Scotland an average of £2,000 a year in wages. Choose lowering Scotland’s GDP by more than £10 billion and Scotland’s exports by more than £5 billion. Choose vital EU worker status being under threat, with widespread uncertainty to families, businesses and the economy. Choose risking our international standing in the academic, research and innovation communities as we lose access to funding, expertise and people from the EU. Choose walking away from the European Medicines Agency and Euratom without any detail or thought of the impact. Choose the great Brexit power grab, taking back control of straight bananas. Choose returning to the Thatcher era of poverty and austerity. Choose the UK turning its back on Europe.

Those are not the choices that the Scottish people made. Scotland chose differently. Scotland chose to look outward, to face the world and to embrace the EU and all the protections and advantages it brings. Scotland chose life in the European Union, not a hard Tory Brexit. This Tory Government must respect that.

Conservative Members quoted Churchill, saying that this could well be the end of the beginning of the Brexit process. If they do not respect the democratic will of the Scottish people to remain in the EU, it will be the beginning of the end of this disunited kingdom.