Leaving the Eu: Preparations

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:14 pm on 3rd September 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Gethins Stephen Gethins Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) 5:14 pm, 3rd September 2019

May I put on record my thanks to the officials who have been given the impossible task of trying to make sense of this Government’s plans and to do something that they should never have been asked to do when it comes to no deal? [Interruption.] Daniel Kawczynski may laugh, but these officials are working incredibly hard because of the Government’s ineptitude.

Today in Holyrood, we see a tale of two Governments. Today, the Scottish Government have set out their programme for government to tackle a climate emergency, improve public services and introduce a fairer economy. Yet here we debate food shortages, medicine stockpiling, price increases and job losses; the height of Government ambition is hoping that it will not be as bad as the experts tell them it will. The Minister talked about a general election. We would welcome a general election. In fact, I am going to take the unusual step of inviting the Minister to come and campaign in my constituency. I would love him to do that, so that people could ask him why he is putting them out of work, why he is hitting our food and drink industry and why he is hitting our university sector. This is the height of political failure. It was only apt that the Minister quoted Geoffrey Howe earlier, who of course was attacking his own Prime Minister during an ongoing Tory civil war. I notice that nobody is arguing that this is a good idea any more. This is a Government who have no idea what they are doing and making it up as they go along. No wonder they want to duck, dive and dodge any kind of scrutiny whatsoever.

We were warned before that Parliament would need to sit. Does the Secretary of State agree with the Health Secretary that prorogation goes against everything that the men who waded on to those beaches in Normandy fought and died for? The Secretary of State likes to quote others; does he still agree with that?

On food prices, what will the impact be on food banks—on the most vulnerable, already hit by austerity from this disastrous Tory Government? What level of medicine shortages is acceptable to the Government? On the £6.5 billion, from which public services is that to be taken? Finally—I cannot quite believe I am asking this question—does the Secretary of State still believe in the rule of law, and will he accept laws passed by this Parliament?