UK’s Withdrawal from the European Union

Part of Business of the House (Today) – in the House of Commons at 2:41 pm on 14th March 2019.

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Photo of Ian Blackford Ian Blackford SNP Westminster Leader 2:41 pm, 14th March 2019

I am genuinely fond of the hon. Gentleman, but I have to say to him that if he wants to write to someone to ask whether a leader is going to support a people’s vote, he should be writing to his own leader. I can tell him that every SNP Member will be going through the Lobby today to vote for a people’s vote. I say to him: come and join us. He will be very welcome in doing that, and I would applaud him for doing that.

The way Scotland has been ignored throughout the Brexit process means that the case for independence is now stronger than it has ever been. I respect that our amendment has not been selected today, but had it been taken it would have been the best way to protect the will of the Scottish people, as it sought to stop Scotland being dragged out of the EU against our will. That can best be avoided by the people of Scotland exercising their sovereign right to choose their own constitutional future as a full, equal, sovereign, independent member state of the European Union. We did not ask for this Brexit crisis. The people of Scotland do not want this chaos. The damage and destruction caused to British politics has been the fault of Conservatives and Labour alone. Make no mistake: the United Kingdom is facing a constitutional crisis. Decades of neglect by consecutive Labour and Conservative Governments have seen our people let down, and have seen the economy grow weaker and smaller, with wages stagnating, communities divided and public services on their knees. This is broken Britain. The cracks appeared before Brexit, but Westminster has failed to fill them in. Now, Britain is shattering; divisions are deeper, politically and socially. This is not a Union that we want to be part of.

I look instead to our work in Scotland, and how devolution has developed our society and how our Scottish Government have built up our communities and broken down barriers. Our constituents get free education and free prescriptions; our children get the best start in life, regardless of their family circumstances; our society looks out to the world; and we welcome EU nationals to become part of our communities.