“Creation of UK-wide frameworks

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:15 pm on 4th December 2017.

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Photo of Ian Blackford Ian Blackford SNP Westminster Leader 5:15 pm, 4th December 2017

I am surprised at that intervention from the hon. Gentleman. I expressed right at the outset of my speech that we recognise that progress was made, but that progress has not been sufficient to justify the SNP supporting this Bill tonight. The whole point about our position is that we want to see frameworks in place, but we can move forward on that only when the UK Government are prepared to negotiate. Why was there a six-month period when the Joint Ministerial Committee did not meet? If there is any blame in this matter, it lies with those on the Government Benches.

I can tell the hon. Gentleman that there is not a fag paper between the position of the SNP on these Benches and that of our colleagues up the road in Holyrood. We are united, which is more than can be said of the Conservative party, because Ruth Davidson is delivering a very different message from the one that is being delivered by the Conservatives down here. Ruth Davidson recognises the threat to Scotland of being out of the single market and the customs union. The Scottish Conservatives would serve the interests of the people of Scotland if they recognised that there is an economic threat from being outwith the single market and the customs union.