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European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:27 pm on 22nd October 2019.

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Photo of Ian Blackford Ian Blackford SNP Westminster Leader 3:27 pm, 22nd October 2019

Indeed, Mr Speaker, as always.

It is a pleasure to follow Mr Duncan Smith. We do not perhaps agree on the destination for which we should be heading, but he certainly makes his case with passion.

The points of order that have just been made absolutely demonstrate that we must have proper scrutiny of absolutely fundamental legislation that is going to affect all of us, our children and our grandchildren for decades to come. We must be able to tease out the facts.

The Government in London have an obligation to negotiate with parties from Northern Ireland, as the right hon. Member for Chingford and Woodford Green said, but also to negotiate with the devolved Administrations in Edinburgh and in Cardiff. In the spirit of generosity that is suggested by the Government, there has to be real dialogue and negotiation with all parties that are involved in this.

The simple fact remains that while we on the SNP Benches have no desire to leave the European Union, it is regrettable that over the past three years we have not had the opportunity to explore in detail a compromise position, which may have been staying in the single market and customs union and would have resolved many of the difficulties that we now face with Northern Ireland.

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for reminding us that we spent 100 hours in Committee on Maastricht.