Leaving the EU: Extension Period Negotiations — [Mr Laurence Robertson in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:29 am on 22nd May 2019.

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Photo of Peter Grant Peter Grant Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Europe), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Exiting the European Union) 10:29 am, 22nd May 2019

Sadly, it is not imaginative that British Steel has cited Brexit-related issues as one of the reasons why, as of about half an hour ago, it is now in insolvency and 25,000 direct and indirect jobs are under threat. That is not something anyone can celebrate or be happy about. Surely it is time for everyone who continues to push us towards the possibility of a no-deal Brexit to stop and ask the question: would the 66% of people in and around Scunthorpe who voted to leave in 2016 have done so if they had understood what it might mean for their town’s biggest employer? I do not know the answer to whether they would have voted the same way, but I would like to give them the chance to answer the question again.

Comments have been made in this debate and others about the 80%-plus of the electorate who voted for pro-Brexit parties in 2017. Some 80%-plus of the electorate voted for pro-remain parties in 2015, because Labour and the Tories were both remain parties in 2015. We are saying that in the space of two years, 60% of the electorate changed from voting for remain to voting for Brexit, but three years after the referendum, we are not allowed to consider the possibility that 5% of the electorate might have changed their minds between remain and leave. It simply does not add up.