My column for the Scotsman on the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement. You can also read the article on the Scotsman website here.
Never in the recent history of the UK Parliament has one vote been so important to this country.
This isn’t about party politics, but national interest.
Tonight, I will walk through the ‘No’ lobby in the House of Commons to vote against Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
There has been lots of debate and argument, but never has the sound of the division bell held such significance as we find out which direction this country will take.
Brave politicians break the rules and do what is in the best interests of the country. And that is why there are so many MPs voting against the first Government in history to wilfully and knowingly make the country poorer.
What happens next is uncertain. The first thing the Government should do in the national interest is to rule out a no-deal scenario.
We can expect the Prime Minister to come back for a second attempt at passing her deal. But Jeremy Corbyn has promised to move swiftly to hold a vote of no confidence in this failed Government.
I would welcome a General Election to get rid of the Tories, although I fear we will struggle to command a majority for one in the Commons.
If we fail, in line with Labour Party policy, we must throw our weight behind a People’s Vote. Let us have more democracy, not less.
This issue goes much wider than the economy. It is about EU citizens; it is about our outlook on the world; it is about driving change in Europe; it is about taking our place in the world as a country that wants to work together with others.
We cannot achieve what we want to achieve if we are an isolationist nation, and that applies as much to the SNP as it does to the Brexiteers.
So let us hand control back to the public in a People’s Vote, which includes the option of the best deal – the one we already have as a member of the EU.