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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 Donald Cameron Donald Cameron Conservative

I am afraid that I would like to make some progress.

The Prime Minister’s deal is currently the only deal on the table, and we must support it. In supporting it, we will give effect to the result of a democratic vote that was taken by the UK, including, not least, the million or so Scots who voted leave and whose voices in particular have been drowned out since the vote. That is what my conscience dictates and that is how I exercise my judgment as a representative. I believe that the vast majority of people whom we represent want that outcome. They want a deal that protects their jobs and their livelihoods. They want an orderly exit and to move forward. They want to move on and to get it done. They abhor the idea of departing without a deal, and they recognise that the best way to avoid that is to support the Prime Minister’s deal.

It is clear that having no deal would be an awful outcome, and it is right to prevent that from happening by default. However, the best way of ending the uncertainty and avoiding having no deal is to leave with a deal by the agreed date.

Let us remind ourselves who has backed the Prime Minister’s deal. Scottish business has backed it. The Scottish Chambers of Commerce and the Scotch whisky industry, which is among the most important industries in my region and is vital for the Scottish economy, have backed it. The Scotch Whisky Association supports both the withdrawal agreement and the political declaration. It has said:

“If the deal is rejected, this will create considerable uncertainty for the industry”.

Scottish farming has backed the deal. The NFUS has said that the deal

“will ensure that there are no hard barriers on the day we leave the European Union, and will allow trade in agricultural goods and UK food & drink to continue throughout the transition period largely as before.”