I will take no more interventions from people whose position on the European Union has changed so radically over the past couple of years.
Returning to the attempt to grab power back from the devolved Parliaments that so many of us worked so hard to establish, many of those who take the greatest credit for their establishment, such as the great Donald Dewar, are not here to see the success of what they created, and I shudder to think what they would have thought of these attempts completely to emasculate all three devolved Parliaments.
We are seeing a betrayal of the promises—one could almost say the “vow”—that certain people made to the people of Scotland just three years ago: the most powerful devolved Parliament in the world, they said; Scotland should lead the Union, they said; parity of esteem and an equal partnership of nations, they said. What definition are they using if the Prime Minister, who takes her authority from this Parliament, decides it is beneath her status even to meet the First Ministers, who take their authority from their respective national Parliaments? What definition of “equality” or “parity of esteem” are the Government using? Where is the parity of esteem if the Joint Ministerial Committee, trumpeted by the Tories less than a year ago as the epitome of good relations between our four national Governments, has not met for seven months. I note, however, that, completely coincidental to an attempt by my hon. Friend Ian Blackford to have an urgent debate on the matter, the Government have now decided they are going to reconvene the JMC at some time in the autumn. I hope they will not fall back on the claim that autumn finishes on