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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 agree. If we look at the track record and history of the person who made those commitments, we will see that the person has not been right about much, over a long period.

We have to look more widely at what the UK ministers said about the process of negotiation with the EU over the withdrawal agreement. This was meant to be the easiest agreement on record. I think that it was David Davis who said that all the cards were in the UK’s hands and the process would essentially be over by Christmas—it will not even be over by this Christmas, let alone the Christmas that he meant.

The reality of the situation is that nobody who has any involvement or interest in, or knowledge of, free trade negotiations, particularly with the EU, which will have the best negotiators in the world, believes that the process will be concluded by the end of 2020. What is more likely—some European research group members have given the game away on this—is that the side assurances from people such as Michael Gove that there is in fact no intention of coming to a deal, because they want no deal at the end of the period, are the things that count.

People should remember that. Getting Brexit done means getting what the Tory right wing wants, and the Tory right wing does not want to be tied down by the things that the EU insists upon in the level playing field. That is the reality.