Prime Minister (Meetings)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 24th April 2019.

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Photo of Linda Fabiani Linda Fabiani Scottish National Party

5. To ask the Scottish Government when it last held discussions with the Prime Minister. (S5O-03132)

Photo of Michael Russell Michael Russell Scottish National Party

The First Minister and Prime Minister met on 3 April in Downing Street to discuss the United Kingdom Government’s plans for European Union exit. However, the UK Government has so far refused to show any willingness to compromise in relation to membership of the single market and the retention of freedom of movement, which are essential for Scotland’s future.

Following the extension of article 50 until the end of October, the First Minister wrote to the Prime Minister to call for on-going talks over EU exit to include the devolved Administrations, and for any deal that is agreed by the UK Parliament to be put to a second referendum. The Prime Minister has yet to reply. I raised the same issues in a phone call with David Lidington the day after the decision was made by the European Council, and I hope to speak to him again this week.

Photo of Linda Fabiani Linda Fabiani Scottish National Party

I thank the cabinet secretary for that fulsome answer.

I suggest that the next time that anyone from our Government meets the Prime Minister, they ask whether she considers herself a democrat and, if so, whether she will recognise people’s right to decide on their constitutional future and the right of Scotland’s Parliament to represent its electorate. Will they also ask whether she will explain to Scotland how a democrat can deny such rights?

Photo of Michael Russell Michael Russell Scottish National Party

I think that that is a fair and accurate point. [

Laughter

.]

It is funny that, when we talk about Scottish democracy, the response of the Tories is to laugh. It always strikes me as significant that that is the case. The Scottish Tories wish to jeer at the concept of the sovereignty of the Scottish people.

The issue that the Prime Minster and the Scottish Conservatives need to address is the issue of the sovereignty of the Scottish people. They need to listen to the Scottish people instead of laughing at them, or, in the case of the Prime Minster, contemptuously refusing to listen to them.