United Kingdom Internal Market

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 18th August 2020.

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Photo of Willie Rennie Willie Rennie Liberal Democrat

They might miss my corker of a speech, Presiding Officer, which would be such a shame. I am sure that I can repeat it to them later.

The Liberal Democrats will support the Green amendment, the Labour amendment and our own amendment, as well as the Government motion, but we will not support the Conservative amendment.

Claudia Beamish’s speech was one of the best. She summed things up well when she said that she felt a mixture of sadness and relief about the debate: sadness that it was necessary at all, but relief that there was an opportunity—she is ever the optimist—to explore how best to progress.

Annabelle Ewing, who said that it was

“London’s way or the highway”,

summed up the situation with some accuracy. However, Jackie Baillie, as always, was the best, as she spoke about not only the value of the internal market but the need for us all to have a say in how it works. That summed it up well.

Peter Chapman—a great opponent of the NFU—spoke with great passion. He asked who on earth would not be in favour of working with our closest and biggest economic neighbours. If only he had said that more loudly during the Brexit referendum, we might not be in this position in the first place.

Then the debate was full of SNP members who were great converts to the cause of co-operation across the United Kingdom. John Mason, Tom Arthur and Bruce Crawford all said, “If only we could come together and reach some kind of co-operative agreement across the UK.” That is despite the fact that they have spent all of their political careers trying to dismantle the UK and the co-operation that exists. [

Interruption.

] I will not take an intervention now, because I am coming on to speak about Adam Tomkins, whom I thought spoke quite well.