Leaving the Eu: Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:19 pm on 12th June 2019.

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Photo of Peter Grant Peter Grant Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Europe), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union) 3:19 pm, 12th June 2019

The hon. Lady makes a very valid point. I think the more important point is that the motion would allow, on one particular day in two weeks’ time, the elected Members of this Parliament to decide what we will discuss. The Secretary of State and others have said that that would prevent the Government from putting their business on the Order Paper. The Government cannae tell us what they want to be discussing on Monday, never mind in two weeks’ time! Given the stuff they have been using to pad out the agenda over the past several weeks, they can hardly claim that there is a backlog. Well, there is a backlog of massively important proposed legislation that needs to come through, but there is absolutely no sign of it.

I will tell you, Mr Speaker, what would be a democratic and constitutional outrage. It would be an outrage for any Government, either through deliberate malice or sheer incompetence, to plunge us into a disastrous no-deal Brexit against the interests of our four nations, against the will of Parliament, and now, since the 23 May, quite clearly against the will of the people. It would be an outrage for the expressed will of 62% of the sovereign citizens of my nation to be cast aside as if they neither existed nor mattered. It would be an outrage if 3 million citizens on these islands saw their basic rights curtailed and undermined as a result of a flawed and corrupted referendum that they were banned from participating in.

All those outrages would pale into nothing, however, compared with the outrage if the first act of a Prime Minister, appointed in an election in which less than one quarter of 1% of the population was allowed to take part, was to abolish this Parliament and reinstate it only when it was too late for us to carry out the duty for which we were elected: the duty of pulling our four nations back from what everyone in this Chamber knows would be an economic and social catastrophe.