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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 Jamie Greene Jamie Greene Conservative

I would like to make some progress.

I do not believe that anyone in the chamber wants a no-deal scenario, and I do not believe that anyone outside the chamber really wants a no-deal scenario. On that, I agree with the First Minister. However, I point out that that is what will happen. Motions that are agreed in this chamber will not change the underlying process by which a member state leaves the EU. The unfortunate political motivations that are behind the debate simply lay bare the unchangeable truth, which is that there is no political consensus in this Parliament about Brexit. There is no evidence to suggest that a new Government or a general election would somehow magic the impossible over Europe. Who genuinely believes that there is any appetite in Europe to rip up the deal and start again? No one I have met in Brussels believes that to be the case.

We know about Labour’s opportunism on the issue: Labour thinks that it is the quickest route to Downing Street for Jeremy Corbyn. I respect Labour for having that view, but Jeremy Corbyn says on one breath that he respects the referendum, but says, “Let’s have another” in the next.