Safeguarding Research Collaborations and Scientific Excellence

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 7th November 2018.

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Photo of Tavish Scott Tavish Scott Liberal Democrat

We will look forward to that conversation.

Of course, academics and the student body are a part of society that is in favour of a rational, evidence-based opportunity to explore and then test the merits of whatever deal emerges from the Brexit negotiations. Today, Parliament can support that position. Today could be a significant moment for the Scottish Parliament and the UK-wide campaign to stop a calamitous Brexit. On three previous occasions, only the Liberal Democrat members voted for a referendum on the terms of the Brexit deal. Today, that outcome could be very different. I welcome the support of the SNP and the Greens. There are more and more senior figures in other parties adding their voices—among the Conservatives, we have notable figures such as the former Prime Minister, John Major, Justine Greening, Heidi Allen and Sarah Wollaston. There are not many obsessives there, I suggest.

We also know that the overwhelming majority of Labour supporters in Scotland do not agree with a pro-Brexit policy. Senior figures such as Sadiq Khan, Chuka Umunna and Ian Murray have led the charge, and many reasonable Labour members here today also consider that that position needs to change. There is a real momentum now and a demonstrable shift in attitudes in every corner of the UK. Last month, we witnessed the second biggest public demonstration in Britain in the past century.