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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

Members will be flabbergasted to learn that I agree with my hon. and learned Friend. We see a key part of our future lying in the EU.

The Prime Minister, mentioned there with such great affection, chose to visit Edinburgh on her first trip to Scotland, and it was a visit full of visual symbolism. She called on the First Minister, and while they did not hold hands, the Prime Minister said all the right things, including that she was willing to listen to options on Scotland’s future relationship with the EU. Well, what is the point of listening if everything said falls on deaf ears? It is not consultation.

My colleagues, my constituents and people throughout our country want to be part of an outward-looking, cosmopolitan Scotland. We want to be part of a union that is a community of nations and which respects diversity and autonomy. Members on the Conservative Benches profess to love the Union that binds Scotland and England, but the union that is dying is not the EU, with its long queue of candidate countries, but the UK. Margaret Thatcher may have begun the dismemberment, but historians will, I suspect, judge that today Conservative Members delivered the coup de grâce—as our continental partners would say.