Leaving the EU: No Deal

Part of Leaving the Eu: No Deal – in the House of Commons at 5:28 pm on 19th December 2018.

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Photo of Peter Grant Peter Grant Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Europe), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union) 5:28 pm, 19th December 2018

I think the hon. Gentleman knows the answer to that question, because I have co-sponsored his Bill, although if I had realised that that meant I was expected to be here to speak on his Bill on Burns Day next year, I might have thought other about it.

I do not think it is acceptable, and it will be forever held up as a mark of shame on this entire Parliament, that it is left to Opposition Back Benchers to try to use procedural methods to force the Government to allow Parliament to give the decision that Parliament wants to give, rather than trying to force Parliament to give a decision that we really do not want to give in preference to decision that we really, really do not want to give. When it comes to a decision, by whatever process, it is not acceptable, it is anti-democratic and, in terms of sovereignty of the people of Scotland and the rights of the people of Northern Ireland, it is unconstitutional to force us into a situation where no deal is one of only two deals left on the table. No deal can be ruled out and should be ruled out. For all the parroting of this and other Ministers, it is not up to Parliament to take no deal off the table by accepting an unacceptable deal. It is up to the Government to take it off the table right now by saying that no matter what happens, they will not impose it on us and on everybody else.

When it comes to a final decision, the two options available to us have to be the ones most likely to be accepted by as many MPs as possible, even if they are not supported by as many MPs as possible. I will not support anything that takes us out of the EU, but I might be willing, reluctantly, to accept something that is less disastrous than what we are faced with just now. The final choice cannot be between the Prime Minister’s deal and no deal. The combined Parliament of our four nations and the citizens of our four nations must be given a choice, and that choice, if it is to be a fair choice, can only be between the Prime Minister’s Brexit and no Brexit.