Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:36 am on 16th May 2019.

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Photo of Pete Wishart Pete Wishart Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Constitution), Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons, Chair, Scottish Affairs Committee 11:36 am, 16th May 2019

I thank the Leader of the House for announcing the business for next week. It is a pity that we cannot go back to the good old days where provisional business was also announced for the following sitting week, but I am pleased to see that the withdrawal agreement Bill is to be brought before the House, and I too very much look forward to seeing it.

May I also join in the tributes to Philippa Helme, and warmly congratulate the shadow Leader of the House on her warm and glowing tribute? Philippa Helme will be missed by all of us around the House.

May I also gently remind the Leader of the House that Monday’s business was on an English ratings Bill which was exclusively devolved? If she is in the business of trying to curtail the voting and speaking rights of Scottish Members of Parliament it is a bit rich her complaining we were not speaking on something that has absolutely nothing to do with us.

In advance of the withdrawal agreement Bill could we possibly have a debate about masochism, Mr Speaker, because it seems to me that the very definition of May-ite Conservatism is to do the same thing over and over again expecting a different result? It is a bewildering condition that involves delusion, deafness and self-flagellation—which they have obviously found a taste for—eventually leading to schism, paralysis and then political death. The idea that the Prime Minister will somehow get it through this time is almost like abandoning all sense of reason as Members are all rushing to tell her that they are not prepared to support her on this withdrawal agreement Bill. Her only hope is to get her comrades in the Labour party to abstain on all this, but I think I heard the shadow Secretary of State for Brexit saying today that Labour will not abstain and I hope that will be the case.

Another week on, and the men in grey underpants are still camped outside No. 10, trying to get the recalcitrant occupant to leave. Ultimatum after ultimatum is delivered, to no effect, and timetables are discussed, to no impact. I believe that another one is being discussed this morning. May we have a debate on enforced evictions and maybe see what this House can do to support the Brexit One?

Lastly, in advance of next week’s EU elections, could we perhaps have a debate on the productive and valuable relationship that we have with our European Union colleagues? In that debate, we on these Benches would make it abundantly clear that, in Scotland, we intend to stop this Government’s crazy Brexit and let the Scottish people determine their own future—and the only way to achieve that is to vote SNP next Thursday.