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 Michael Gove Michael Gove Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster 5:14 pm, 3rd September 2019

I think my hon. Friend is right. In Crail and Anstruther, as well as in St Andrews, I think people are looking forward to Conservative representation in North East Fife in due course.

The hon. Gentleman talks about a tale of two Governments. Even as the Scottish Government are unveiling their programme today, they are doing so, after 10 years in government, with education standards declining and the number of people in the health service, including doctors, declining—and unfortunately, as the recent “Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland” figures show, Scotland, were it an independent country, would have the biggest deficit of any nation in Europe. That is hardly a record of success.

The hon. Gentleman asks about prorogation. Prorogation is necessary before every Queen’s Speech. One can no more be against prorogation in order to ensure a Queen’s Speech than one can be against the functioning of this Parliament, properly constituted.

The hon. Gentleman asks about food prices. Of course food prices fluctuate—some go up and some go down—but the temporary tariff schedule that we have put in place will protect consumers and ensure that in many cases food prices are either stable or drop.

Ultimately, the problem for the hon. Gentleman is that Scottish National party Members may talk about democracy, but we have had two major referendums in this country, both of which they seek to overturn. They want to ignore the vote to stay in the United Kingdom and they want to ignore the vote to leave the European Union. Their policy is take us back into the EU. That would mean abandoning the pound, abandoning coastal communities in Scotland, and once more recognising that the Scottish National party wants separatism and Brussels rule ahead of a strong United Kingdom and the benefits that it brings to the citizens of the whole UK.