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[2nd day]

Part of European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:41 pm on 1st February 2017.

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Photo of John Nicolson John Nicolson Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport) 5:41 pm, 1st February 2017

No, I believe Scotland should hold a referendum whether we get our own way on this or not. I believe in independence whatever the outcome of the vote tonight. [Interruption.] An hon. Member with an incredible degree of prescience announces that we lost the referendum. I am not sure whether that takes our debate very much further, but I am happy to acknowledge, sir, that we did indeed lose the referendum. We will win the next one, however.

During Scotland’s referendum on independence, it looked like some of this might change. The Prime Minister assured Scotland that we were a family of nations. Membership of the EU was sold to the Scottish electorate as one of the defining benefits of remaining within the United Kingdom, which must be a cruel irony on the day that we are debating this.

I am intrigued by what the Prime Minister means when she says that we are equal partners. What kind of equality is it when England, 10 times our size, attempts to compel us against our will? That is not equality as I understand it.