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European Union Withdrawal Negotiations

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 5th March 2019.

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Photo of Michael Russell Michael Russell Scottish National Party

They can shout as much as they want—they are the ones who have not been selected to go elsewhere.

The third thing that the Scottish Conservatives have to confront is their own divisions. There are sensible, moderate Conservatives on those benches; there are one or two who know how ridiculous the position that they have found themselves in is. They know that they are defending the indefensible. That is why they indulge in the displacement activity that we have seen this afternoon: they blame the SNP and attempt to smear others, in order to hide their own tensions. In a very real sense, Brexit has brought out the absolute worst in the Scottish Conservatives. We can see it on the Conservative benches. The more that they grin and the more that they shake their heads, the more they realise that the situation is terminal for them, unless they wake up to their obligations to Scotland. Mr Chapman goes on grinning and he will continue to grin until he is defeated, which will not be far off, I am glad to say. [



Let me bring the debate to a conclusion by leaving the Tories to their own misery. Let us stand back and look at what has actually taken place today. I hope that, in the next 10 minutes, members in the chamber will be very clear about what is unacceptable. First, a no-deal scenario is unacceptable and must come off the table—that is what Wales will say and that is what Scotland will say. Secondly, the Scottish Parliament will say that Prime Minister’s deal is utterly unacceptable, which it is. It is another catastrophe and we do not wish it—that is what we will say and that is what Wales will say. We will then go further: we will say that the time has come for people to choose and the time has come to overcome the selfish narrowness of the Scottish Conservatives and their masters south of the border. The time has come to say to the people of this country, “What do you want? Do you really want to continue with this farce and nonsense?” The better Tories know that that is what it is. Do people want to continue with this or do they want to go back and consider again the way in which we should, as a country, go forward?