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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 absolutely agree. I reflect on the fact that we in Scotland have a Parliament elected by proportional representation. We are used to minority Government and having to reach consensus. Indeed, the motion on Brexit that was passed by the Scottish Parliament was supported by the Scottish National party, by the Labour party, by the Liberal Democrats and by the Greens. I say to the Prime Minister: that is how you do it. The Prime Minister has simply misunderstood the challenges of reaching a consensus across Parliament. She is working with her own Brexit extremists and failing to work to build a consensus across this Parliament. If the Prime Minister survives today, she must act now to extend article 50 and legislate for a people’s vote.

I must now turn to the Labour party. The Scottish National party was the first to table a motion of no confidence, supported by others—the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Green party—and we asked for it to be debated before Christmas. We knew yesterday that the Government were giving active consideration to allowing a debate and a vote today on that motion. The Labour party has been shamed into tabling the motion before the House now—a motion that we should have discussed before Christmas. I welcome today’s debate, but on the basis of what happens today, I make this appeal to our friends and colleagues in the Labour party: we have to work together to hold this Government to account, and if we are to do that, we have to recognise the harm that Brexit will do to all our constituents. It is time for the Leader of the Opposition to recognise that there is no such thing as a “jobs first” Brexit.

If we want to protect the interests of our citizens, there has to be a people’s vote. We do not have time to delay. The Labour party has to join us in that campaign today. I say to the Leader of the Opposition that all the young people who voted Labour in England in 2017 will pay the price if he does not give that leadership. Get off that fence and come and join us. Take that opportunity today, and tell us once and for all that Labour will back a people’s vote.