EU Withdrawal Agreement

Part of Bill Presented – in the House of Commons at 2:09 pm on 18th December 2018.

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Photo of Ian Blackford Ian Blackford SNP Westminster Leader 2:09 pm, 18th December 2018

I need to make progress. I am aware that many other Members wish to speak, and I wish to move on.

Yesterday the Prime Minister told us that we will get our meaningful vote but that we will get it in the second week of January. That is not acceptable. Do this Government recognise that, with every week that passes, more and more uncertainty sets in? We hear day after day of companies putting off investment decisions, and it is the uncertainty and chaos of this Government that is leading to that. Businesses, farmers and workers are all left waiting on this Government. Delaying the vote is a total abdication of responsibility, causing even greater uncertainty and instability. Yet again, the fate of our services and our economy is left to play second fiddle to the internal struggles of the Tory Party. The truth is that this Prime Minister is hamstrung by her own party. The result of the recent confidence vote was little more than a pyrrhic victory for the Prime Minister. At a crucial time in its history, the UK has a lame-duck Prime Minister, saddled with a lame-duck Brexit deal. The Prime Minister cannot and must not use this result to support her claim that the choice is now between her bad Brexit and a catastrophic no-deal Brexit. The Prime Minister will have to face up to the fact that her deal carries no majority in the House of Commons. She must break the deadlock, and the SNP will support any second EU referendum that has remain as an option. Still struggling to cobble together support for her disastrous deal, the Prime Minister is seeking to run down the clock rather than act in all our national interests. We, as parliamentarians, cannot let that happen. We must ensure that the voices of our citizens are heard.

The Prime Minister’s deal must be defeated. No one with the interests of this and future generations at heart could possibly accept it. This deal will take Scotland out of the EU against our will and remove us from the European single market of 500 million people. It will take us out of the customs union and the benefits of EU trade deals with more than 40 countries across the globe. This deal will make us poorer than staying in the European Union. [Interruption.] I can see the Under-Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, Mr Walker, shaking his head, but he should look at his own economic analysis, as every shred of evidence shows that we are going to be poorer with Brexit than we would be if we stayed in. If he has not even read it and if he does not understand what it is in it, heaven help us. A no-deal Brexit is going to cost each person in Scotland £1,600 by 2030, compared with continued EU membership.