G7 Summit

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:50 pm on 3rd September 2019.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Ian Blackford Ian Blackford SNP Westminster Leader 3:50 pm, 3rd September 2019

I thank the Prime Minister for advance sight of his statement.

My goodness—this is the second time the Prime Minister has been at the Dispatch Box, and this must be the shortest-lived honeymoon in parliamentary history; you simply have to look around his Benches. He may say that he does not want an election, and his colleagues certainly do not want one, but I will let him into a secret: we do, because we want the people of Scotland to be able to have their say on this shambolic Government. The Leader of the House talks about the strategy of the Prime Minister. We hear use of the words “collaborators” and “surrender”; the Prime Minister really should have some dignity and show some respect for the office he —temporarily—holds.

Of course, one of the most remarkable things that took place during the statement was to see Dr Lee cross the Floor. Prime Minister: you have lost your majority.

Over the weekend, we saw commemorations across the world to mark the 80th anniversary of the second world war, when brave citizens came together and stood together against tyranny. My thoughts and those of my party are with those who suffered, the veterans and their families. We should also recognise that the European Union is the legacy of two world wars that had ripped Europe apart. The European Union has been an important vehicle for peace and stability in Europe.

Turning to the G7 summit, I wish to express my shared concern at the unrest in Hong Kong. I also associate myself with the actions on climate change and on protecting the Amazon rain forest. But I take issue with President Trump’s comments in relation to Russia. It is not acceptable to condone Russia’s military and cyber aggression around the world. Furthermore, while the summit declared its support for progress in Ukraine, the President of the United States failed to challenge Russia’s violation of international law in Ukraine—another utterly disgraceful lack of leadership from the President of the United States.

Following the summit, the Prime Minister displayed his own lack of leadership by moving to prorogue Parliament and strip power away from elected representatives—closing down Parliament by sending three Privy Counsellors to instruct the Queen to sanction the closure of Parliament. Three Privy Counsellors acting on the instructions of the Prime Minister to shut down Parliament: where is the democracy in that? While he can dance around and profess to speak for the people, we all know the truth—he is in fact doing the opposite. By proroguing Parliament, the Prime Minister is robbing the people of power; robbing them of a say over their future.

In true Trumpian style, the Prime Minister is acting more like a tinpot dictator than a democrat. He talks of the will of the people—but what about the will of the people of Scotland? Prime Minister, the Scottish people did not vote for Brexit. The people of Scotland did not vote for a no-deal Brexit. They did not vote for the Tory party and they certainly did not vote for this Prime Minister. The people of Scotland voted to remain in the European Union. The Scottish people voted overwhelmingly against the Tory party and this Government. The people of Scotland made their choice, and they chose that the SNP should be their voice. So I ask the Prime Minister: are you a democrat, or not; do you respect the will of the Scottish people, or not? Will you, Prime Minister, if you believe yourself not to be the latter, then give the people back their say: allow Parliament to have its say; respect the will of Parliament in stopping a no-deal Brexit—a no-deal Brexit that would be devastating for jobs and communities?