Tonight I supported the amendment to support the revocation of article 50 and I opposed all measures that would possibly lead to a no deal Brexit.
I could not in full conscience support the motion which asked for a confirmatory referendum and I set out the reasons for that here. No motion secured a majority in the House.
Supporting this motion would mean that the Prime Minister’s deal (or some undefined version of Brexit) would be allowed to pass in return for some sort of unspecified confirmatory public vote. It is a measure in which we would be asked to allow a Brexit deal to proceed with the hope that those throughout the rest of the UK would then reject it. It also greatly concerns me that it does not contain a commitment to have a remain option on any future confirmatory vote ballot paper.
This problems with this were just too great for me and I could not expose my constituents to these risks The only Brexit deal on offer is the Prime Minister’s and I would risk letting a deal pass that would make my constituents poorer; that would end freedom of movement with all its disastrous consequences for economic growth and our population issues, and that would deny our young people the opportunity to live and work freely across a continent.
This confirmatory vote also has serious consequences for our future independence referendum. In supporting this we might be expected to support a ‘confirmatory’ referendum for any deal we negotiate with the UK to secure our independence. This would be an open invitation for those opposed to our nation’s independence to try and undermine that result and invite the UK to give us the worst possible ‘deal’ in order to reverse that result. There is also the issue that we have not secured any guarantees for Scotland’s position for our unconditional support for this confirmatory vote. There will therefore be those who will insist we respect the result of this confirmatory vote even if Scotland votes to reject the ‘deal’ and the UK votes to accept it.
My view is that the clear way forward is to get fully behind the campaign to revoke article 50 in line with how the people of Scotland voted in the EU referendum.
Eventually, though, I believe we are going to have to forcefully make the case that the only way Scotland can rescue its EU membership is as an independent nation, and regretfully conclude that a UK solution to Scotland’s continuing EU membership is unlikely to emerge.
I will continue to oppose Brexit and do everything possible to protect my constituents from the worst excesses of this chaotic Brexit.