Future Relationship Between the UK and the EU

Part of Domestic Gas and Electricity (Tariff Cap) Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:24 pm on 18th July 2018.

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Photo of Peter Grant Peter Grant Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Europe), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union) 5:24 pm, 18th July 2018

The House agreed unanimously two weeks ago that the people of Scotland were sovereign. It has unanimously and irrevocably abandoned any claim it ever had to the right to usurp the sovereign will of the people of Scotland. It would be bad enough hearing that kind of nonsense from a Member of Parliament with no understanding of Scotland, but to hear it from somebody who claims to represent part of Scotland is utterly ridiculous.

I will explain once again. I cannot do it in words of one syllable, though, so I am afraid that the hon. Gentleman might need somebody to explain it to him. I respect the results of the referendum in all four nations of these islands. I respect the result of the referendum in England and Wales, but that respect is conditional on it being established that the result was not rigged. I respect the decision of the people of Scotland and demand that each and every MP in this Chamber respect it likewise. I also respect the decision of the people of Northern Ireland—they get left out of this far too often. Their decision was not for a soft border to be introduced, or for the border to be magically moved a few miles inland to avoid any infrastructure at the border. The people of Northern Ireland have voted overwhelmingly on two occasions now for no border controls or infrastructure between them and their southern neighbours, and no solution that the Government put forward that breaks that decision of the people of Northern Ireland can be tolerated or should ever even be contemplated.

In respecting the results of the referendum in our four nations, I want to see the Government put forward proposals that recognise that the biggest partner in this Union voted to leave but that two of the four equal partners voted to remain. Scotland voted to remain by a majority of 24 percentage points. That was the size of the gap. It was not a close-run thing; it was overwhelming. There was a remain majority in every count declaration area in the country.

None the less, we are told that the way in which we are to be dragged out of the EU will be dictated not by proper discussions, on equal terms, between Scotland’s Government and the UK Government and will be determined not by listening to the views of the MPs and MSPs elected to represent Scotland but by a minority of Members of a minority governing party who think that because they can shout the loudest they have the right to tell the Prime Minister what to do. I was disappointed that she caved in to the minority, instead of seeking to find consensus across Parliament.