“Creation of UK-wide frameworks

Part of European Union (Withdrawal) Bill – in the House of Commons at 7:15 pm on 4th December 2017.

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Photo of John Lamont John Lamont Conservative, Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk 7:15 pm, 4th December 2017

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for that point. I will leave it to him to explain to his constituents why, by pressing his amendment, he will be putting at risk Scotland’s place in the United Kingdom. The amendment would damage the internal market of the United Kingdom and Scotland’s place in the United Kingdom. We are not supporting it because it goes too far. As my hon. Friend Paul Masterton explained, we want to amend the Bill, but we will not do so if it puts Scotland’s place within the United Kingdom at risk. The amendment tabled by the hon. Member for Edinburgh South would do that, and that is something that we will be reminding his voters of.

I come to this debate as someone who was disappointed with the result of the referendum in 2016, but I am also a democrat. We need to accept the result and move on to ensure that we get the best outcome possible for Scotland and the United Kingdom. SNP Members would do well to show a degree of acceptance of that, too. They have been on the losing side of two referendums in recent years, but they seem to be unable to accept the result of either.

Our job now is to deliver Brexit smoothly and in a legally coherent way. That is why the Bill is so important. It is horrifically complicated—I expect that most people in our country do not really understand what it is all about—and it could affect many aspects of our everyday lives, particularly in constituencies in parts of our country that are also governed by devolved Parliaments and Assemblies. Rather than focusing on the detailed wording of each clause, my approach has been to focus on outcomes. What do Scottish residents living in the border communities that I represent want to achieve from this process? What do Scottish farmers believe to be important? What do Scottish businesses and traders want from leaving the EU? What do our fishermen want to see on the other side of Brexit day? Ultimately, they all want as little disruption as possible. They want to be able to trade, move, and work within Scotland’s most important trading partner—the rest of the United Kingdom.