EU Exit Negotiations

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:40 pm on 5th December 2017.

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Photo of Peter Grant Peter Grant Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Europe) 12:40 pm, 5th December 2017

On reflection, I think I prefer the phrase “the rubber has hit the road” to the one that I was going to use to describe yesterday’s fiasco.

It is no surprise that leadership contenders are now circling the Prime Minister. I can reveal that there is a vacancy coming up, because the Prime Minister is today being interviewed for the job of Scotland football manager, where her fantastic ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory could be put to very good use.

A Government who said they would bring sovereignty back to Parliament are now being controlled by someone who is not even a Member of this Parliament. A Government that refuse to give Parliament any say in the development of our negotiating position are now allowing that negotiating position to be dictated by the leader of a minority Parliament in the smallest of the four nations of this Union. I could not put it better than the shadow Minister: what a shambles; what a complete mess.

Will the Secretary of State now go back to “Scotland’s Place in Europe”, the document published by the Scottish Government that his Government rejected out of hand a year ago, and use that as a basis to produce a solution to an otherwise intractable problem? The fact is that the Government’s red lines are not compatible with each other, as the Brexit Committee concluded only last week. We were therefore unable to see how it is possible to reconcile leaving the customs union with avoiding a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. Will the Secretary of State go back to that paper and use it as a basis for reopening negotiations?