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[2nd day]

Part of European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:16 pm on 1st February 2017.

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Photo of Kirsty Blackman Kirsty Blackman Shadow SNP Spokesperson (House of Lords) 6:16 pm, 1st February 2017

I really appreciate the extra minute, Madam Deputy Speaker.

The Order Paper says that we will just be voting on the Bill but, actually, we will be voting on consigning the UK to a red, white and blue Brexit. Anyone who thinks that, by reasonable argument, they can influence this Tory Government to do reasonable things is deluded. It has not happened yet, and it is not going to happen in future. Anyone who votes in favour of triggering article 50 will be consigning us to a red, white and blue Brexit and a future shaped by the Conservative party. I could not do that in good conscience, and I cannot believe that other Opposition Members could.

In 20 years’ time, when my children are young adults, young people will not be able to travel easily to EU countries. They will not be able to marry people from EU countries for fear that they will not be allowed to live together in the same country. They will not be able to afford the living standards that we have now. There will be an erosion in food quality, for example, because we will have to compromise on our standards in order to have trade deals with countries like America.

We are going to lose farming in communities, such as those in Wales and Scotland, that currently rely heavily on it, that receive a huge amount of EU common agricultural policy money and that rely on the current high standards and the inability of countries to export cheap foreign produce. We are going to lose that.

In 20 years’ time, when my kids are young adults, we will still be negotiating trade deals. The Government do not have the capacity and the civil service does not have the skills to negotiate in a short period of time all the trade deals that we need—trade deals take a long time. The economy will be scuppered. We will see high levels of inflation. We will see people struggling to maintain living standards.

The Resolution Foundation published a paper today saying that, in 2021, the lowest earning quarter of households will earn 5% to 15% less than today; the highest earning quarter of households will earn 4% more. This is a Tory Brexit, and that is only four years in the future. Things will be even worse in 20 years’ time. Productivity will tank further. Productivity in the UK is rubbish, and there is a clear link between open markets, having links with other countries and increased productivity. My children will therefore have to work more hours than I have had to work in order to earn the same wages.