Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:02 am on 9th May 2019.

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Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 11:02 am, 9th May 2019

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his, as ever, rather witty, if a little misguided, contribution. The fundamental problem is that his party does not believe in abiding by the result of referendums, whereas the Conservative party does. We had a referendum in 2016, and we are determined to deliver on the result by leaving the EU; Scotland had a referendum in 2014 and, regardless of whether it has another one, the SNP will abide by it only if it gets the result it wants.

As a huge supporter of the United Kingdom, I also welcome the 20 years of devolution, which has been a huge success—except to the extent that the hon. Gentleman’s Government in Scotland have failed to take up many of the powers they have been offered under devolution. It is extraordinary that a party in Scotland that claims to be able to set up within 18 months a new independent country with its own currency, while staying in the EU, cannot even manage to accept powers to take on VAT, welfare or any of those modest little issues. It seems extraordinary to me that the hon. Gentleman is preaching to my party, which is determined to deliver on the democratic will of the people.