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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 say to Mr Findlay that it is no wonder that Labour is plummeting towards 30 per cent support in the polls.

It is also clear not just that the SNP will not vote against the deal, but that it has no desire to vote for any deal, which the First Minister made abundantly clear in her opening speech. What remains at the heart of the SNP’s approach to Brexit is nothing but independence, with membership of one union coming second to leaving another. The EU is nothing more than a pawn in that game.

I want to talk about a second referendum, because I think that the issue is important. It seems to have been confirmed today that the official policy of every other party in this Parliament is that we should have another vote. What message does that send to the 1 million Scots, and the 17 million voters across the UK, who voted to leave? I will tell people what it says: it says, “Your vote doesn’t matter.” For anyone who has a problem with two-question referendums or is concerned that a 49:51 result is too close, there is a laudable and valid debate to be had, but there is nothing to suggest that the result of a second referendum would be any different from the first.

Any politician in the Scottish Parliament who stands up and says that a leave voter did so out of prejudice or far-right sentiment needs to have a serious think about their understanding of Scottish voters and 1 million of their fellow citizens. That very contempt for the Scottish electorate is the reason why so many voted to leave.

Thank goodness that there is one party in this Parliament that is willing to put a question to the people and has the decency to respect the people’s decision. For that reason, I support Jackson Carlaw’s amendment.