European Union Citizenship

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:35 pm on 7th March 2018.

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Photo of David Linden David Linden SNP Whip 4:35 pm, 7th March 2018

What a pleasure it is to follow such a fantastic speech from Anna McMorrin. I begin by commending and thanking our colleagues in Plaid Cymru for securing this debate. I believe that this is the first time in history that Plaid Cymru has had its own Opposition day debate, and I hope that we will have more of them.

Most people who have taken part in this debate have declared an interest. I look up at the annunciator and see my German surname, and I am incredibly proud to be someone of German descent in this House. I am also incredibly proud to represent Scotland, where 62% of the population voted to remain in the European Union. All 32 local authority areas voted to remain, and my constituency voted remain. However, we see ourselves looking over the cliff-edge of a hard Brexit to which we have been driven by the Back Benchers of the Conservative party, and it is something that Scotland did not vote for.

The points made during the debate, particularly by Ben Lake, about the impact on young people really amplify the disaster that Brexit will be. I have questioned the Prime Minister about the Erasmus scheme, and she can give us certain guarantees about the next year or two. However, the reality is that a young person studying at Lochend Community High School in Easterhouse, a deprived area in my constituency, currently has the opportunity to travel and see other parts of Europe through Erasmus. That directly answers the point made by Emma Little Pengelly about young people from deprived backgrounds.