Early Parliamentary General Election

Part of Deferred Divisions – in the House of Commons at 8:07 pm on 4th September 2019.

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Photo of Ian Blackford Ian Blackford SNP Westminster Leader 8:07 pm, 4th September 2019

My hon. Friend is quite right. I look forward to SNP challengers standing in the Scottish Tory seats. We will take the fight to those constituents over the coming weeks and make sure that those constituents have the opportunity to return those seats to the Scottish National party.

Much of this debate has been about democracy. It is about the abuse of power by a Government seeking to shut down Parliament. This House must respect the Scottish Parliament, and in particular the mandate the Scottish Government have for a referendum on independence. It should be Scotland’s right to choose its own future, not the right of this Prime Minister or any other in Westminster to tell Scotland that our votes do not matter and that we cannot determine when Scotland votes in an independence referendum.

An election is coming, and I invite Scotland to send a message to Westminster: it is Scotland’s right to choose. The Times poll today shows that the SNP is set to win a majority of Westminster seats in any election. Make no mistake: we relish an election because we want to stop Brexit for good, stop the Tories and stop this Prime Minister; and, most importantly, we want to give the people a say—their choice to decide their own future. However, we will not be a party to the Prime Minister’s games and allow the Prime Minister to use an election to force a no-deal Brexit through the back door.

Simply put, the SNP cannot support this motion tonight because we do not trust the Prime Minister, and who could blame us? With his tall tales, his contempt for democracy and his Government’s broken promises to the people of Scotland, we cannot trust that he will allow this Bill to pass and remove the cliff edge before an election. I urge other opposition parties tonight to not give the Prime Minister the opportunity to bring in a no deal through the back door. We cannot allow a Government who have lost their majority, who do not command the House and who have treated this Parliament and this country with contempt to remain in office for one more day longer than is necessary.

The Prime Minister is going to shut this Parliament down so that he can spend four weeks running down the clock. We could instead use that time to run him out of office. Once a no deal has been blocked, MPs on the Opposition Benches should come together to bring down this Government—not on the Prime Minister’s terms, but on the right terms. Time is of the essence over the next few days in order to remove the cliff edge, and to remove this shambolic, irresponsible, incompetent Tory Government from office.