[2nd Allotted Day]

Part of Immigration (Time Limit on Detention) – in the House of Commons at 2:39 pm on 5th December 2018.

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Photo of Joanna Cherry Joanna Cherry Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Justice and Home Affairs), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Justice), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Home Affairs) 2:39 pm, 5th December 2018

No, I do not accept that. I speak regularly with politicians from all parties in the Republic of Ireland and that is certainly not how they see matters. In fact, politicians, businesses and the wider community in the Republic are broadly very happy with the way in which the European Union has dealt with this. It is sometimes conveniently forgotten in this House that Northern Ireland voted to remain in the European Union. It is forgotten partly because Northern Ireland has not had the democratic voice of its Assembly during this time. It is only the voice of Sammy Wilson that has been heard here in relation to Northern Ireland, but his party, the Democratic Unionist party, does not represent the majority of people in Northern Ireland, who voted to remain. The Prime Minister has refused to meet the Greens, the Social Democratic and Labour party, Sinn Féin or the Alliance, which is quite disgraceful.

Meanwhile, in Scotland, the people voted to remain in the EU by an even more substantial margin than that of Northern Ireland. It was 62%, and polls show that if a vote were held tomorrow, the figure would be nearer to 70%. Despite that, the Scottish Government have concerns. They are a democratically elected Government, although I know that those on the Conservative Benches like to call them the SNP Government and pretend that they have no legitimacy. They were elected democratically, and their legitimate concerns, which are often supported by other parties in the Scottish Parliament—as they will be today when the Liberal Democrats, the Greens and Labour will vote with the SNP to try to protect Scotland from the consequences of Brexit—have been wholly ignored. We can only look on with envy as the concerns of the Irish Government are placed centre stage in Brussels. Unlike Northern Ireland, Scotland has had a strong and functioning Government and Parliament during this process that have been well able to express their views, but that has not protected us. This Brexit process has highlighted the limits of devolved—as opposed to independent—government.