My Intervention to the Minister during the SNP Opposition Debate on Scotland’s Future

Rt Hon Sir John Redwood MP (Wokingham) (Con): The SNP was very critical of the electricity and energy regulation in the UK, and said that it wanted change in it. It did not seem to realise that all our current regulations are those of the European single electricity market, and that it is only because of Brexit that this Government are now consulting on changing those unsatisfactory regulations.


John Lamont MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland: That is a useful reminder that, while the SNP advocate breaking away from the rest of the UK and breaking away from Westminster and London, it wants even closer ties with Brussels and all the challenges and bureaucracy around that. I always welcome the opportunity that the SNP gives us to talk about the benefits that we all get from being part of the United Kingdom, and all the positives and strengths that come from working together across the whole country. The United Kingdom is the most successful political and economic union that the world has ever seen. In challenging times, we are stronger together. We are better prepared to deal with any crisis, particularly an issue on the scale of the energy crisis, or of the very thing that created the energy crisis—Vladimir Putin’s awful war in Ukraine.

In these volatile times, I continue to believe that the last thing people need is greater uncertainty. This is a time for unity behind a common purpose, not division that would split us apart. The challenges facing all of us across Scotland and the whole of the United Kingdom demand all of our attention.

On the substance of the motion, as the hon. Member for Edinburgh East well knows, the Scottish people do not see another referendum as a priority. There is no consensus across Scotland on another referendum and all the division and distraction that that would bring. We already know the process by which a constitutional question can be asked, because it happened back in 2014. We had a referendum and the people of Scotland decided our future by an overwhelming majority. That happened after there was consensus across political parties in the Scottish Parliament, in civic society and among people across Scotland. That is not where we are today.

If SNP Members want to focus their arguments solely on opinion polls, then what do they have to say about the polls, including recent ones, that show that people do not want another referendum on Nicola Sturgeon’s timetable? No matter how many polls there are that show a majority of Scots against another referendum, the SNP still wants us to go through the distraction of an all-consuming constitutional debate. It is all it cares about—another referendum at all costs.


  1. James1
    December 16, 2022

    Millions of Scots living in Scotland have family members living in the rest of the UK. They are never going to vote to make their family members “foreigners”. It should be remembered that the SNP are a minority party in the Scottish Parliament.

    1. Nottingham Lad Himself
      December 16, 2022

      Yes, if the voting rules for the European Union referendum had been as those in the Scottish one, then Remain would have won reasonably clearly.

      1. Mickey Taking
        December 16, 2022

        another chuckle again from martin, I do appreciate a laugh on this cold morning.

    2. Lynn Atkinson
      December 16, 2022


  2. Lynn Atkinson
    December 16, 2022

    What Powell would have called a brilliantly lobbed hand grenade. In Powell’s day the recipient had the wit to understand they had suffered a knock out blow.
    At this point I’m pretty sure even a real hit would fail to penetrate the bigoted SNP brain.

  3. William Long
    December 16, 2022

    I should have thought that the most effective tactic the Government could employ, is to allow the Scotch a referendum and make very sure that the ‘Noes’ win.

  4. Bloke
    December 16, 2022

    We recognise a good question from SJR and an equally fine answer from John Lamont.

  5. Michael
    December 16, 2022

    The Scottish referendum result of 2014 is negated by the UK overall result of 2016; it’s like 2014 didn’t happen, that the once in a generation rule didn’t count. What is clear is that the majority of Scots wanted to remain in the EU but like the rest of the good people in the country were asleep at the wheel and were taken completely by surprise, then nobody was to know that the Boris Government led by ERG elements was going to take us out of the Single Market and Customs Union, to take the hardest line possible with breaking from the EU – so yes the Scots as a matter of fairness and so Scottish national determination deserve another referendum on whether they want to be independent or not?.. “no man has the right to fix the boundary to the march of a nation; – no man has the right to say to his country thus far shalt thou go and no further” Charles Stewart Parnell Cork January 1885

    Reply We did not take a hard line with the EU and have a tariff free Free Trade Agreement as Remainers always wanted

    1. ChrisS
      December 16, 2022

      It was made very clear in the referendum campaign that voting to leave the EU meant leaving both the Customs Union and the Single Market. Both sides made that very clear but Remainers have conveniently forgotten that the public voted to leave in the full knowledge that it meant we would be leaving both.

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