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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 absolutely agree with what my colleague says. Too many Members in this House have not done their homework on this, and see the positives for the elite few but do not see the return to the ’80s and to the decimation we saw during the Thatcher years. They do not see that future, but it is what is coming. That is where we are heading. The plans from the Tory Government are for low taxes—for some sort of tax haven—but no country that is a tax haven spends as much on public services as we do; they all spend very small amounts on public services. Are the Tories suggesting that is the way we should go? What is going to happen to our NHS if that is the way we go?

The other thing about this, which the great repeal Bill will show, is that it is a Government power grab. We have been protected from the worst excesses of these right-wing Governments by the European Union. For example, it has protected our workers’ rights, our equality rights and our climate change laws. Now, however, the Tory Government and the unelected Lords are going to be able to dictate to this country all of the law, and we are not even going to get the benefits they said we would. They said we would suddenly be exempt from state aid rules, but we will not. That is not what happens, as the WTO has rules on state aid, and so do any links with European trading partners.

The worst thing of all is that in 20 years’ time, when my children are young adults, we will be a less tolerant and more xenophobic society, because instead of tackling the discrimination and prejudice, this House has pandered to it.