Brexit: 'This vote will live in infamy,' SNP MP Alyn Smith says

SNP MP Alyn Smith campaigning with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
SNP MP Alyn Smith campaigning with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon
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Westminster’s vote in favour of Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal “will live in infamy” and will have “consequences” in Scotland, one of the SNP’s new MPs has warned.

Alyn Smith, who served in the European Parliament for 15 years until his election last week, used his maiden speech in the House of Commons to tell Conservatve MPs that passage of the Brexit deal contains “the seeds of a far greater defeat”.

Mr Smith, one of the stars of the new SNP intake at Westminster, is expected to play a leading role on Brexit for the nationalists.

Speaking in the second reading debate on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill ahead of what is expected to be an easy victory for the government, the Stirling MP said: “This is a momentous day for some in this house. It is a day of deep sadness for many of us.

“I assure you, Mr Speaker, today’s vote will live in infamy. It is not the end of Brexit, it is the start of something far worse.

“And it is an arithmetic fact - not a matter of opinion, an arithmetic fact - that Scotland has not consented to this. We are not leaving the European union, we are being dragged out against our will by a government we rejected.”

The SNP MP urged Tory MPs to read the history of Czechoslovakia from “around January 1991” - a reference to the end of Soviet influence in eastern Europe and the Velvet Divorce of the Czech Republic and Slovakia two years later.

“I would counsel the benches opposite against hubris, for in what you call your victory today lie the seeds of a far greater defeat,” Mr Smith said.

“A union - and the United KIngdom is a union of nations, do us the courtesy of using the right words - a union can only be maintained and endure if there is consent and respect.

“It is an arithmetic fact that Scotland in all our recent votes has not consented to where we are now, and the actions of this house prove a lack of respect of Scotland’s democracy.

“I have concluded years since along with the rest of my party that Scotland’s best future lies as an independent state in the European Union.

“Many people in Stirling agree with me, many do not, and that is an ongoing, lively conversation. But there are very many more than that agree that it is for Scotland to choose our future, and what is being done to us today is a grave, deep injustice that will not stand and will have consequences.”