This week Parliament will vote on whether or not to allow the Prime Minister to trigger Article 50 by the end of March 2017, thus beginning the process of taking the United Kingdom out of the European Union. This is a most profound constitutional and economic change for the entire United Kingdom and our relationship with the wider world.
The UK Government has failed to engage in meaningful dialogue with Scotland’s MPs, the Scottish Government and people living in Scotland about what this would mean for Scotland. The SNP Government has sought compromise throughout all discussions with UK ministers only to have their desire to protect key economic and social protections for people in Scotland rebuffed. This is a mess of the UK Government’s own making.
I was elected on a manifesto that did not propose an EU referendum and a pledge to protect Scotland’s place in Europe. That was endorsed by 55% of the voters in Glasgow South.
In addition to that, my constituency, the city of Glasgow and all of Scotland voted to remain in the European Union. It is my belief that to withdraw is not in the interests of people in my constituency, where 72% of people voted to remain within the European Union - the highest percentage of any constituency in Glasgow. As such, I will vote against the Government’s Bill on Wednesday night.