Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:11 am on 29th March 2018.

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Photo of Pete Wishart Pete Wishart Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Constitution), Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons, Chair, Scottish Affairs Committee 11:11 am, 29th March 2018

I thank the Leader of the House for announcing the business for after Easter.

As we have heard, it is now one year until we leave the European Union—Members are supposed to cheer at that point. I note that the Leader of the House said in a tweet this morning that she punches the air with joy at that prospect every morning. In Scotland, we are not quite doing that, as we have heard that it is going to cost us £12.7 billion. My country did not want Brexit. We did not vote for Brexit, yet Scotland will be taken out of the EU against our national collective will. I remember that in another referendum, we were told the only way to preserve Scotland’s EU status was to vote no. Well, that worked out well for us, didn’t it?

As for the business, or the non-business, when we get back, it is general debate central. This is business that has ceased to be, is bereft of life and has shuffled off its mortal coil and gone to meet its maker. This is as much ex-business as that unforgettable Norwegian blue parrot. It is a business statement from a zombie Government that pine for the fjords.

In Scotland and across Europe, people are being arrested just for having a political idea and vision for their country—people like Clara Ponsatí, a professor at St Andrews University who was arrested with a Spanish European arrest warrant. Her crime was believing that her country would be a better place if it governed itself, and peacefully and democratically making that her political aim. The UK is a country that hates state oppression, loves democracy and speaks out against injustice throughout the world, so can we have a statement on that, even if it is just to ask Spain to think about what it is doing and the reputational damage it is causing itself?

Lastly, Mr Speaker, I wish you, your staff and staff right across the House a very happy Easter. It might come as a shock to some Conservative Members, but I understand that the Prime Minister is going for a walking holiday in Wales. Forget about hard borders for Ireland. The gentlemen on the Conservative Benches should be hastily constructing one in Wales, so that we do not suffer the same fate as we did last year.