European Union (Withdrawal)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:56 pm on 3rd September 2019.

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Photo of Ian Blackford Ian Blackford SNP Westminster Leader 7:56 pm, 3rd September 2019

It is a pleasure to follow the Leader of the House. I remind him that Lord Cooper in the Court of Session said that parliamentary sovereignty is a purely English concept that has no counterpart in Scottish constitutional history. In Scotland the people are sovereign, and that, of course, will be a matter of importance as the people of Scotland decide what their future will be.

I have to say that I am rather surprised by the right hon. Gentleman, who has always been a student of the rights of the House, because the harsh reality is that the reason we are in this situation—that Parliament is to be prorogued—is that the Prime Minister has instructed three stooges to go to Balmoral to give an instruction to the Queen to shut this place down. For all the pronouncements that this is normal, it most certainly is not normal for Parliament to be prorogued for five weeks, and we know that the simple reason is that the Government are running away from the powers and responsibilities that this House has. It is shameful and disgraceful, and in that regard I am deeply honoured and privileged to endorse the motion in the name of Sir Oliver Letwin.

The Scottish Government have today launched an ambitious programme for government that is aimed at tackling climate change, building a fairer economy, reducing inequality and improving the lives of citizens across Scotland—a Government getting on with their day job, 12 years into government yet still focused on making life better for those in Scotland. But while the Government in Holyrood are stepping up to meet the challenges facing both Scotland and the world, Westminster is quite literally shutting down. It is very much a tale of two Governments. While the Scottish National party is doing everything here and in Edinburgh to move Scotland forward, the threat to our economy and society from the right-wing Brexiteer cabal occupying Downing Street cannot be mitigated. They must—they will—be stopped.

“A sham” is what reports say one of the Prime Minister’s advisers has called his EU negotiation strategy. “Running down the clock” is what the Telegraph is reporting those close to the Prime Minister as saying his strategy is. A “complete fantasy” is how reports say the Attorney General advised the Prime Minister over his approach to the backstop. The tall tales of this Prime Minister are being exposed by the media by the minute. Sources are exposing the smoke and mirrors behind those playing games in No. 10. Does the Prime Minister think this is a game? If so, it is a very, very dangerous game. Make no mistake, the Prime Minister is acting like a dictator—shutting down Parliament, ripping up democracy and silencing the people.