Scottish Devolution and Article 50

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:21 pm on 15th March 2017.

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Photo of Kirsty Blackman Kirsty Blackman Shadow SNP Spokesperson (House of Lords) 5:21 pm, 15th March 2017

Thank you, Mr Gray. I am always a bit discombobulated if there is a vote in the middle of my speech, but I will do my best. I was asking for clarity over the process of the great repeal Bill. We very much make the case to the UK Government that as soon as they have clarity, we would like that to be passed on to us, so we can make informed decisions.

On agriculture and fisheries, there is a lack of trust from a huge number of people in those industries because of how they have been treated. Part of that is genuinely a lack of understanding from the UK Government about the differences in fishing in Scotland compared with fishing in the south of England, for example. On that note, I understand that the Prime Minister will undertake a tour of the UK to talk to us about how wonderful Brexit will be. When she comes to Scotland, I would appreciate it if she spent her time listening—rather than talking—to people from industries, and particularly those that are over-represented in Scotland but under-represented in England. She may know less about them, so that would be good.

I will briefly mention trade deals and protection for communities. We have a lot of communities in Scotland—as in Wales—that are heavily reliant on one industry. Aberdeen is very reliant on the oil industry. Areas such as the one that represented by my hon. Friend Calum Kerr are heavily involved in the farming and agriculture industries. If things are not right for those industries, those communities are likely to be decimated, so the UK Government should think about prioritising industries that will have a dramatic impact on certain communities rather than those that are the most lucrative for the UK as a whole. They should think about that and reframe the position.

Finally, Brexit is not a situation of our making. The Scottish Government have done their very best to propose a compromise, which we put forward in December, but we have struggled to get any sort of coherent response. It is really important that the UK Government start to work with and talk to us. If we are going to work together, as the hon. Member for Edinburgh South suggested, we need actual, real dialogue, rather than the Prime Minister just standing up and saying that she is talking to us. If she actually talks to us, it will make the process a whole lot easier and a whole lot better tempered.