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A Trading Nation

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 30th May 2019.

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Photo of Patrick Harvie Patrick Harvie Green

Rhoda Grant said kindly that she sympathised with almost all of the Green amendment. I reciprocate that, because that is how I feel about the Labour amendment. It raises some important issues, such as the threat of takeover, which can increase the risk of tax avoidance, and the loss of intellectual property. Those are important concerns to raise. However, such challenges can be addressed successfully only through international co-operation, such as EU membership. I hope that the Labour Party would agree with that view. The Labour amendment also endorses, however, the Scottish Government’s targets, with which I continue to have a problem.

As for the Tory amendment, the Conservative Party continues to raise the currency issue with its own particular kind of constitutional obsession. Mr Lockhart reminded me of the meme of the little dog with the coffee cup. He finds uncertainty from pursuing independence intolerable, but as the flames of Brexit uncertainty lick around him, he says, “This is fine.” What is implicit in what Mr Lockhart says and in his amendment is that he thinks that it is impossible to have easy trading arrangements and open borders between, for example, Sweden and Norway or Ireland and Northern Ireland—which would be inside and outside the European Union in a post-Brexit scenario—with different currencies. However, countries around the world, including those in the continent of Europe, solve those problems on a daily basis. The status quo proves that the problems that Mr Lockhart is concerned about are not real.