Leaving the EU: Parliamentary Vote — [Ian Austin in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:39 pm on 11th June 2018.

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Photo of Peter Grant Peter Grant Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Europe), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union) 5:39 pm, 11th June 2018

I have seen abundant statements from leading leave campaigners that said that if we left the European Union we would get £375 million for the health service. I have also seen abundant statements from the hon. Gentleman’s colleagues in the Scottish Conservative party who said that voting for me to come down here was a declaration of a desire for Scottish independence. Sadly, it was not; we need a bit more than that.

I do not understand the nonsensical idea that the interpretation of any electoral contest should be dictated by what the losers said was going to happen. What a ridiculous way of interpreting a democratic contest! Most Opposition Members who spoke referred to the serious flaws in the way the referendum was set up and conducted, and the way the referendum rules were enforced—or, as is becoming increasingly clear, were not enforced. The fact is that the referendum produced a result. On a UK-wide basis, it produced a result; in England and Wales, it produced a result; in Scotland and Northern Ireland, it produced a different result, and we ain’t going to let people forget that in a hurry.

Wera Hobhouse—my colleague on the Exiting the European Union Committee—rightly drew attention to a number of the false promises that were made during the leave campaign. It is a complete fudge to say, “That wasnae our leave campaign; it was somebody else’s leave campaign. A big bad boy leave campaign done it, and then they ran away”—in some cases, they ran away to become Foreign Secretary.