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No Confidence in Her Majesty’s Government

Part of Business of the House (Today) – in the House of Commons at 2:19 pm on 16th January 2019.

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Photo of Ian Blackford Ian Blackford SNP Westminster Leader 2:19 pm, 16th January 2019

I would say to my hon. Friend, because he is my hon. Friend, that we see a record level of lack of humility from this Government. He is absolutely right. We have had 10 years of austerity from this Government and people are hurting. We can see that through the poverty figures and the increase in poverty that is forecast. The harsh reality, as we know from the Government’s own analysis, is that the economy of the United Kingdom would be weaker in any version of Brexit than it would be if we stayed in the European Union. That is the fundamental point.

I say respectfully to the Prime Minister that I understand the issue of respecting the vote in 2016 but, when the Government know that the economic circumstances of their citizens are going to be negatively affected, we have a responsibility to say to the people, on the basis of the information that we now have, “We have a duty to go back to you” because nobody—nobody—irrespective of how they voted in that referendum, voted to make themselves poorer. I say with respect to the Prime Minister that it is shameful that we are not being honest with the people of this country. We need to waken up.

Let us take the announcement from Jaguar Land Rover. I know there are many reasons why Jaguar Land Rover is restructuring—we know it is to do with diesel cars and with China—but, at the same time, Jaguar Land Rover has made it absolutely crystal clear that Brexit is a fundamental issue driving that restructuring. No Government should be in the situation where they want to put unemployment on the table, with unemployment a price worth paying. That is what happened under Thatcher and this Government at their peril will take risks with the economy and the livelihoods of the people in the United Kingdom.