Business of the House

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:41 pm on 30th December 2020.

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Photo of Tommy Sheppard Tommy Sheppard Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons 5:41 pm, 30th December 2020

First, let me welcome the Leader of the House’s conversion to virtual participation. A big majority of those who participated in today’s debate did so safely and efficiently from a remote location. Can I ask him also to stop resisting remote voting and to switch the system back on, so that all Members can vote according to their own conscience and without breaching public health guidelines?

When are we to expect a third party Opposition day, which is now long overdue?

Today, we saw the Government push through their deal with a complete lack of scrutiny and examination. The Government created this timetable by refusing even a short extension to the transition period, hoping that Christmas and covid would provide a smokescreen for their awful deal. The Government, and probably the Opposition, will be hoping that this concludes the matter, but it does not. Many Members on the call list did not get taken today, and many more who wanted to speak did not even make it on to the list. I would have thought that the first order of business in the new year would be to continue the discussion of the deal and allow those Members the chance to participate.

I ask for a specific debate on the Scottish fishing industry, which has now been betrayed by this Government. The removal of quota swaps and leases, which this deal includes, means that in five years’ time fewer white fish will be landed in Scottish harbours than happens now. That is a major kick in the teeth for Scotland’s coastal communities and the Government ought to be prepared to debate how they will mitigate the effects of this disastrous deal on them.

The Leader of the House may be aware that earlier this afternoon, the Scottish Parliament voted by 92 votes to 30 not to give consent to today’s Bill. Given that, can we have a debate on the consequences of the deal for devolution and on what this House should do when people vote in the Scottish general election for the right to choose to become an independent country?

Finally, Madam Deputy Speaker, may I wish you, the Leader of the House, the shadow Leader of the House and all colleagues a very happy new year when it comes?