Rousing speech from East Dunbartonshire MP as he votes against Brexit

John Nicolson MP
John Nicolson MP

East Dunbartonshire MP John Nicolson, delivered a rousing speech in the House of Commons debate on the triggering of article 50 to leave the EU yesterday.

In June’s EU referendum, East Dunbartonshire returned one of the largest votes in the country to remain within the European Union and Mr Nicolson represented that view in the Chamber of the House of Commons.

In his speech, he drew on Scotland’s history pointing out that, like Denmark, Scotland is “no stranger to the idea of sacrificing a degree of independence for interdependence”. But he added that Denmark is a member of the customs union and single market, while exercising control over fiscal, defence and foreign policy.

He said: “The people of Scotland want to be part of an outward looking, cosmopolitan country. We want to be part of a union which is a community of nations, one which respects diversity and autonomy.

“When Theresa May last visited Scotland, she made the commitment that the countries of the UK would be treated as equal partners in the upcoming negotiations.

“While she did not hold hands with Nicola Sturgeon, she promised to listen to the opinions of Scotland on our continued membership of the Single Market. But what is the point of listening if everything that is said falls on deaf ears?

“People in East Dunbartonshire realise that keeping Scotland in the European Single Market is vital for jobs, investment and our long-term prosperity.

It makes no sense for the UK to leave but hard Brexit now looks likely. Scotland should not be dragged out against her will, that’s why keeping Scotland in the Single Market is at the heart of the SNP plan.

“If Theresa May is intent on being true to her word that Scotland and the other devolved administrations are equal partners in this process, then now is the time to show it.”

The vote to allow the Prime Minister to trigger Article 50 was carried by 498 votes to 114