Internal Market

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 30th July 2020.

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Photo of Michael Russell Michael Russell Scottish National Party

I will take the positive part of that question first. Donald Cameron is a persuasive man. If he is capable of persuading his colleagues south of the border to withdraw those proposals and return to the table on common frameworks, I will support that. I have made that clear—I have never left the table on common frameworks. We withdrew from the discussion on the internal market because it was obvious where it was going; the UK Government intends to impose. We made it clear that we would not have common frameworks imposed, but for more than two years we have been able to agree on common frameworks. Every three months, the relevant secretary of state in England—it is presently Michael Gove—has to publish a report that says that the common frameworks material is going ahead and that there has been no need to impose. That has happened in every single report. We cannot say that now, because the UK Government will now try to ignore that and impose them. If Donald Cameron can persuade the UK Government to withdraw the badly drafted and malicious white paper, I will agree to that; if he cannot, I will not.