United Kingdom Internal Market Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:33 pm on 14th September 2020.

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Photo of Douglas Ross Douglas Ross Conservative, Moray 7:33 pm, 14th September 2020

Following the speech of Pete Wishart, I simply say that Scotland is my nation as well. The SNP does not speak for Scotland. The SNP is not Scotland. I am proud to be Scottish and British, and when the SNP stands up and claims that it speaks for the whole of Scotland, it does not. The hon. Gentleman would be advised to stop making out as if it does.

I want to make the point that this Bill at its heart, at its core, at its centre, is about jobs and businesses. Is it not telling that in all the SNP speeches that I have listened to tonight, jobs and businesses have not been mentioned once? The SNP was opposed to this internal market Bill long before the events of the past few days, because it is opposed to what it means for Scotland and to what the UK Government can do for Scotland and for the 545,000 jobs that the Fraser of Allander Institute says rely on the internal market of the United Kingdom. In 2018, that internal market ensured £51.5 billion of trade between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom—three times more than the trade that Scotland does with the whole European Union put together.

This Bill’s protecting and enshrining our internal market in the United Kingdom is about protecting those jobs and those businesses. It is about ensuring that businesses in Forres and Fort William can do the same trade across all four nations of the United Kingdom as those in Felixstowe and Farnborough. That is what is important about this legislation. That is why we have to ensure that it is there, and that it is capable of delivering for individuals, for businesses, for their jobs and for the communities that they serve. That is why I believe that at the heart of this legislation we should be speaking about what it means for our communities, our businesses and our jobs the length and breadth of the country.

I want to focus on remarks by Pete Wishart, and by the SNP the whole time, about how this is somehow a power grab. It cannot be a power grab when more than 100 extra powers are going to Holyrood, to the Scottish Parliament and to the Scottish Government, and not one is being taken away. That cannot be explained as a power grab.