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European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:07 pm on 9th January 2020.

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Photo of Pete Wishart Pete Wishart Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Constitution), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 2:07 pm, 9th January 2020

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his very brief intervention. All I can say to him is that they couldn’t care less about the economy or about the damage to the UK. They couldn’t care less about our relationship, about isolationism or about all the other things that this Brexit does. The only thing they care about is their hard Brexit. That is the only thing that has underpinned their whole approach in the course of the past few years. That is the only thing they wanted. Nothing else mattered other than securing a hard Brexit, so there will be huge celebrations down the Bulldog Club tonight and I hope the champagne tastes good. Will we be celebrating in the White Heather Club in Scotland, or here? Nobody bothered to ask me. Well, no, we will not. We most certainly will not be celebrating this Bill passing today.

The Government may have won their hard Brexit, but they have most definitely lost Scotland. Nothing could sum up the alienation of Scotland from the rest of the United Kingdom more than the passing of this Bill. This Bill symbolises the difference between Scotland and the rest of the UK. I sometimes think this House forgets Scotland’s relationship with this Brexit disaster and chaos, so let me gently remind Conservative Members what happened. One MP was voted from Scotland with a mandate for the EU referendum, and one MP from Scotland voted for the Bill that allowed a referendum to take place. When Scotland was obliged to vote in an EU referendum that it had nothing to do with, we voted 62% to remain.

Now, people may have thought, given all that has happened, that Scotland’s voice would be accommodated, listened to and somehow taken account of—not a bit of it. Every representation was rejected. Everything to try to minimise the blow to a Scotland that wanted to stay in the European Union was ignored out of hand before the ink was even dry. Everything that we brought forward that said, “Listen. Maybe we have a different view about Brexit than the rest of you down here,” was totally and utterly ignored and disrespected.

That is why yesterday, when the Scottish Parliament was asked to agree to a legislative consent motion to allow the Government to progress and pursue this hard Brexit, the Scottish Parliament overwhelmingly said no, and only the rump of Scottish Conservatives in that Parliament voted for it. Will that matter to this Government? Will that be listened to? Absolutely not. It will be rejected, ignored and disrespected. I say to Conservative Members that that is what is driving the new demand for Scottish independence. We will no longer be ignored, disrespected, and rejected out of hand. That is why we are back here with 48 Members. That is why we have 80% of the vote. That is what the people of Scotland voted for.