European Union (Withdrawal) Act

Part of Business of the House (Today) – in the House of Commons at 3:32 pm on 12th March 2019.

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Photo of Ian Blackford Ian Blackford SNP Westminster Leader 3:32 pm, 12th March 2019

I thank the hon. Lady for that question. Let me say enthusiastically that the Scottish National party supports a people’s vote, on the basis of the facts that we now know. As we know that there is no such thing as a good Brexit, and that it is going to cost jobs, the right thing to do is to present the facts to the people of the United Kingdom. I implore the House to get behind the people’s vote.

We have an opportunity here today to do the right thing. The people we represent have given us their trust to do what is right for them, for their families and for their communities. Vote Leave was a farce. It pumped lies into the campaign. It sold the public a pup. People must have the right to change their minds, and we must have the courage, as political leaders, to give people the right to change their minds. While the world looks on in wonder at what on earth the UK is about to do, I ask that every Member recalls how much we stand to lose.

Let me say that we on these Benches will not allow our nation to be dragged out of Europe into the abyss. Scotland has a bright future, and that future is as an independent European nation. Mr Davis, the ex-Brexit Secretary, noted at the weekend:

“There is no…treaty in the world…where a sovereign nation…can only leave when the other side says so. So that’s the key point, the ability to get out when we need to.”

The people of Scotland are sovereign under the terms of our constitutional framework, and they too should have the ability to get out of this mess—and, my goodness, we need to. So I ask Members to support the SNP. When we decide to call for action to have a referendum in Scotland, this House should respect that. We will not go down with the sinking ship. As Winnie Ewing famously said:

“Stop the world, Scotland wants to get on.”

I say to the people of Scotland: if we cannot save the United Kingdom from itself, now is the time to save Scotland—an independent Scotland at the heart of Europe.