Early Parliamentary General Election

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:19 pm on 19th April 2017.

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Photo of Tommy Sheppard Tommy Sheppard Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 2:19 pm, 19th April 2017

I believe this is the sort of thing that gets politics a bad name in our country and it is what is leading to the alienation of many of our citizens from the political process. There is only one reason the Prime Minister wants a general election on 8 June: she figures she has a better chance of winning it now than she does in the future. It is therefore the most blatant abuse of the democratic procedure for party political advantage, and as this campaign goes on it will be seen as that.

This election has nothing to do with the country’s interests and everything to do with the management of the Conservative party, and I give two clear reasons why that is the case. The Prime Minister has suggested that she needs to have a majority, but she has not won any vote on Brexit over the past year with a majority of less than 30, so the majority is already there. She also says that this election will give clarity to the Brexit process, but we on these Benches have been trying for 10 long months to get clarity on the Brexit process, and every question we have asked has been met with silence and with a refusal to say what Brexit does indeed mean. I do not believe for one minute that the Tory party manifesto for 8 June will spell out exactly what the plan for Britain is post-Brexit, so who is kidding who? We will not be any clearer after this election as to what Brexit means than we are right now.