EU Transition Period

Scotland – in the House of Commons on 1st July 2020.

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Photo of Greg Smith Greg Smith Conservative, Buckingham

What discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on the ending of the transition period in relation to Scotland.

Photo of Alister Jack Alister Jack The Secretary of State for Scotland

I have regular discussions with the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster on EU transition matters, including the end of the transition period and the benefits to Scotland of once again being able to control our own laws, our own trade and our own fishing waters.

Photo of Greg Smith Greg Smith Conservative, Buckingham

I thank my right hon. Friend for that answer. Does he agree that while it is outrageous that even last month the Scottish Government were wasting resources on fighting the battles of the past with regard to the transition period, the UK Government are focused on delivering the benefits of free trade not just for Scottish businesses but for all businesses in our United Kingdom?

Photo of Alister Jack Alister Jack The Secretary of State for Scotland

Yes, I agree. I think Scottish Ministers need to wake up to the fact that we have left the European Union and we will leave the transition period on 31 December. I know that the Scottish Government do not like the outcomes of referendums when they do not go their way, but this is another one we are delivering on.

Photo of Pete Wishart Pete Wishart Chair, Scottish Affairs Committee, Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Constitution), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Cabinet Office), Chair, Scottish Affairs Committee

An opinion poll recently found that 63% of the Scottish people back a Brexit extension—that is on top of the overwhelming majority who oppose the Brexit disaster in its entirety—and the Secretary of State has probably seen an opinion poll that found that 54% of the Scottish people now want an independent Scotland. What does the Secretary of State believe links those opinion polls, and what does that tell him about where our country is heading?

Photo of Alister Jack Alister Jack The Secretary of State for Scotland

I was going to say I was pleased that for once that the hon. Gentleman had not made it all about independence, but he managed to weave it in. I think the whole House would like to congratulate him on giving up his own independence by getting engaged last weekend.

The answer is that we had a general election and we had a resounding majority across the United Kingdom for a manifesto that said we would honour the result of the referendum. We are going to honour that result: we are going to take back control of our laws, borders and money and we are going to leave the hated common fisheries policy and become—here is the independent bit for the hon. Gentleman—an independent coastal state.