Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 11:18 am on 4th July 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 11:18 am, 4th July 2019

I thank the Leader of the House for announcing another exciting instalment of business for next week. I join him and the shadow Leader of the House in paying tribute to Kamal El-Hajji and Rose Hudson-Wilkin and I hope will get an opportunity to pay fulsome tributes to both individuals in the next few weeks.

The Leader of the House would do well to abandon this place for the next couple of weeks, given what is going on with this leadership contest. I am even prepared to come on his holiday bus. I would bring my banjo and my cans of Irn-Bru, and I might even be prepared to waive my fee. I would even endure his rotten jokes, because surely we should do more than endure the purgatory of the business that we are facing right up to the summer recess. So, to spice things up a bit, may we have a debate about the Tory issue of the day—the return of foxhunting—and may we have the Foreign Secretary to introduce it before this particular fox is shot? When we are through with that, maybe we could have some legislation to reintroduce the children up chimneys Act, and then maybe a Bill to reintroduce work- houses before we move on to the dunking of witches. Such are the great offerings from the Tory leadership contest to keep us up to date with the modern zeitgeist.

Then can we have a debate about the precious, precious, precious Union? The Tories are beginning to sound like a demented Gollum who is about to throw the ring that unites them all into Mount Doom, which is probably quite apt. The Prime Minister is in Scotland today with yet another devolution plan—and no, of course it is not another desperate attempt to salvage the “precious”. This is the problem, and the Tories just don’t get it. For them, it is all about doing things to Scotland; it is never about listening to what Scotland actually wants or understanding the type of nation that we want to be. Scotland will never accept their buffoons’ Brexit. For them, Scotland is probably already lost. The “precious” is already beginning to melt in the pyre.

Lastly, can we have a debate about Brexit? You know how we were given all this extra time to try to resolve it? Maybe we should debate it occasionally. We have heard both the candidates for the Tory leadership saying that they are prepared to take this country out of the EU without a deal, and we have to start to prepare the parliamentary fightback. There is a huge moment coming, and it will be the no-deal Brexiteers versus parliamentary democracy. Democracy says no to the Brexiteers, and we now have to get ready for that fight.