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Britain's Place in the World

Part of Speaker’s Statement – in the House of Commons at 6:00 pm on 15th October 2019.

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Photo of Tommy Sheppard Tommy Sheppard Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Scotland), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (House of Lords) 6:00 pm, 15th October 2019

Indeed so, particularly when the whole middle east is about to descend into an even more frightening situation. It is an area of the world that this country was governing in living memory. If we do not have responsibility for doing something about it, who does?

I finish by thinking about what is happening 535 miles away in the city of Aberdeen, where the SNP conference is taking place. There have been a number of goads and jibes about our concern for independence, but the House should understand that when this party argues for Scotland to become a self-governing independent country, we do it not just because we believe we can make things better for the people who live there, nor just because we believe in the democratic argument that people living in Scotland, and no one else, should set their own priorities, but because we want to be able to determine our own relationships with other countries, particularly within Britain and Europe but also across the world. I assure colleagues in this House that when we get to vote on our independence, when we have an affirmative vote and when we begin to build a new country, it will be a country with open borders that wants to play its full role in the world and that wants to punch above its weight, as people from that country have done for generations.