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Strength of the Union

Volume 737: debated on Wednesday 13 September 2023

I believe that support for the Union is strong. The United Kingdom is one of the most successful political and economic unions in the world, and the foundation on which all our businesses and citizens are able to thrive. When we work collaboratively, we are safer, stronger and more prosperous.

While the SNP’s First Minister whips up grievance politics at independence rallies, Scotland’s NHS goes backwards, Scotland’s ferries do not work and Scotland’s economy stagnates. Does the Secretary of State agree that it is about time that the SNP stopped obsessing about another independence referendum, and started delivering for the people of Scotland?

Is the truth of the Union not that while we see independent Norway and independent Ireland in budget surplus—independent Ireland with a surplus this year of €10 billion, rising to €23 billion in the next three years—the Scottish Government cannot build small hospitals on small Scottish islands? Is the answer not for Scotland to remove the Westminster handcuffs and to get the independence and budget surpluses of Norway and Ireland, so that we can move forward and move away from the Brexit of the Tories and the Labour party?

They always say independence will sort the problems. Scotland is not building hospitals on the islands because the Scottish Government are squandering the most generous settlement they have had since devolution began.

Before we come to Prime Minister’s questions, I wish to welcome a special guest who is observing our proceedings today—the Speaker of the Jordanian House of Representatives. Mr Speaker, you are most welcome.