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European Union Exit

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

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Photo of Michael Russell Michael Russell Scottish National Party

I have the greatest admiration for Mr Rowley but, strangely, I do not agree with that point, for a very clear set of reasons. I agree that we should unite against Brexit. The people of Scotland voted against Brexit. Brexit should not take place, and we should try to do everything we can to make sure that it does not take place.

However, we should also consider two other things. In what circumstances could such constitutional chaos, in which Scotland votes one way and the rest of the United Kingdom votes another way and we are left powerless, happen again? How do we avoid that happening ever again? There is only one answer to that, which is independence.

Turning to the second thing that we should consider, I know that Mr Rowley and I want to bring about a better Scotland for all its citizens but, to be fair, the Labour Party has tried to do that for the past 100 years and look where we are. When it comes to providing a better Scotland—one that works for all its citizens—the solution is the normal solution of independence. What is more, we see that working all across Europe. Eleven members of the EU are the same size as or smaller than Scotland. We are as prosperous as anybody else. In fact, we are officially the best educated country in Europe. We have huge assets. We have the opportunity to do exceptionally well. [

Interruption

.]

The naysayers may shout from the Labour back benches; they will always do that. The hollowest laughter is from those who do not understand that Scotland has every bit as great a potential as any other country. Let us be real about that, realise that potential and choose independence. I look forward to working with Mr Rowley in an independent Scotland to build the best possible place for all our citizens.