I want to start by recognising the amount of time you have spent patiently and diligently in the Chair, Mr Speaker, doing your best to defend the integrity of this place. It would appear, however, that the Government could not care less about the integrity of this place.
Some 97% of all constituents who contacted me about Brexit were against it. Scotland as a whole voted to remain. That was ignored. The Scottish Government then produced a sensible plan with a reasonable compromise. That was ignored. This UK Government have been held in contempt of Parliament for deliberately trying to conceal facts, yet there is not a hint of embarrassment on the Government Benches. There is not a hint of regret or even of awareness of the damage they are doing.
For the Government to set a date for this meaningful vote and say that they would not pull the vote, only then to pull the vote and use the archaic processes of this place to prevent a vote on whether to have the original vote pulled, shows just how much of a fankle this Government have got themselves in. To top it all off, the day finished with a woman with a sword chasing after a guy stealing a big stick. Is it any wonder that the rest of the world are looking at this and laughing? They are looking at this and wondering what could be going on, and is it any wonder—I will say it again—that Scotland has the option to get better than this? We have another option on the table.
My friend and former colleague, Miriam Brett, summed this up perfectly:
“This entire farce is emblematic of Britain’s broken democracy. A referendum held to appease an Etonian boys club was won on the back of financial corruption of elites, and when half of the countries involved vote remain, it makes sod all difference.”
I join Ian Blackford—otherwise known as Ian—in calling on the Leader of the Opposition to bring forward a no-confidence motion at the earliest opportunity, because if we are genuinely to look at ourselves and say that this display that we have seen for the last two years, never mind the last week, is the best that we can do, then by God, I cannot blame Scotland for taking the opportunity of independence.