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Interpretation

Part of European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill – in the House of Commons at 6:30 pm on 8th January 2020.

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Photo of David Linden David Linden Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government) 6:30 pm, 8th January 2020

Absolutely. I think that was the very reason why 62% of people in Scotland voted to remain in the European Union. They did not want workers’ rights to be controlled somehow from London.

I want to go back to what I was saying about the right hon. Member for Esher and Walton and his remarks about the working time directive and some of the “obstacles” that he identified in relation to British businesses. The fact that he did so in an article calling for a renegotiation of the UK’s future relationship with the European Union does not bode well now that he is in one of the highest offices of Government. Our hard-won workers’ rights secured from 40 years of EU membership cannot be forgotten, diluted or abolished by this right-wing neo-liberal Government that Scotland did not vote for. I therefore urge hon. Members to support new clause 51.

Let us be honest: we know the results of tonight’s Divisions before they even take place. We need to face the truth that this majority Brexiteer Government thinks that Scottish voters will simply lie down while they steamroller over their interests. The choice for the people of Scotland could not be clearer, because Scotland has the unquestionable right to choose its own future. Do we stay shackled to Brexit Britain and failed Tory economics, or do we rejoin the family of European nations, which is outward-looking, progressive and treats its member states with respect, dignity and equality? Of course, the Tories often accuse the SNP of trying to break up Britain, but the reality is that it is the SNP who are driving the bulldozer. Make no mistake: the Scottish independence referendum is coming, and the passage of this legislation tomorrow will doubtless result in people taking a very different view from that in 2014.