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Referendum on Scottish Independence — [Mr Adrian Bailey in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 6:00 pm on 13th November 2017.

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Photo of Alan Brown Alan Brown Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Infrastructure and Energy) 6:00 pm, 13th November 2017

I agree fully. Now we are hearing that it is not to buy the votes of the Democratic Unionist party; it is based on Northern Ireland’s needs. Yet there is no process for the Government to engage properly with the Scottish Parliament and consider Scotland’s needs. They do not ask the Scottish Finance Secretary. In fact, another £600 million has just been taken from the rail budget. If the Government are considering Northern Ireland’s needs, they should be able to do the same for other devolved Administrations.

Before I finish, I want to tackle the “once in a generation” issue. I have re-read that interview, and Alex Salmond qualified his remarks by continuing to repeat that it was his view. He then said:

“In my view this is a once in a generation—perhaps even a once in a lifetime—opportunity.”

That was his view. It is amazing how the Tories are now clinging to Alex Salmond’s views and saying that they must be held to. I challenge any of them to intervene and explain to me how that view of Alex Salmond can be binding on a future Scottish Government when it was a personal view. He might actually be proven right—