Article 50 Extension

Part of Destitution Domestic Violence Concession (Eligibility) – in the House of Commons at 4:15 pm on 20th March 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Peter Grant Peter Grant Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Europe), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union) 4:15 pm, 20th March 2019

I have given way a good number of times and need to make some progress.

When we see the First Ministers of the national Governments of Scotland and Wales being frozen out almost completely and the leader of a non-governmental party effectively being able to pull the strings of half the Conservative party—the leader of a party whose total election vote in 2017 is smaller than the population of Scotland’s second city, not even our biggest city—we have to wonder where the democratic principle in that is.

It became quite clear last weekend that attempts to persuade DUP Members to back the deal were not about persuading them that it was actually better than they had thought, or that the backstop was not as big a threat to them as they had thought; it was about trying to find out how much money could be dug out of the Treasury to buy their support. What kind of an honourable way is that for a Government to work? We know that DUP Members do not agree with the deal, and that they think it will be damaging to their constituents, but the Government are trying to send in money so that their constituents will not notice how damaging it is. In any other context, that practice would be viewed very differently; it would not be considered an honourable practice at all.