Questioned by Tommy Sheppard MP (Edinburgh East, SNP)
House of Commons, 2nd July 2020
I appreciate this government is led by someone who thinks the border does not exist, and who does not even recognise that the term Scottish government was introduced under section 12.1 of the 2012 Act of this Parliament; so grasping the subtleties of devolution may be difficult for them. But really the problem of the financial straitjacket on Scotland will not go away, and we need to discuss it?
Answered by Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, Leader of the House of Commons.
Mr Speaker, what a pleasure it is to see Honourable Gentleman looking as cheerful as ever. He always does manage to with his fine smile brighten up the whole house, and he mentions borders, and I noticed that Nicola Sturgeon wishes to have a wall. Perhaps she’s modelling herself on other leading political figures between England and Scotland, but as my Right Honourable Friend, the Prime Minister said, there is no board between England and Scotland and it was shameful to call for a border of that type of kind to be erected stop people travelling freely between the constituent parts of the United Kingdom. One never thought the Nicola Sturgeon would model herself on American political figures and want to build a wall at least a metaphorical wall, if not actually getting a like Hadrian with the bricks and mortar. The chancellor proposals for recovery, we will get on Wednesday. But the government has already been enormously ambitious that the scale of the furlough scheme 9.3 million people benefiting, 2.6 million self-employed people benefiting, being kept in employment. This is crucially important, but it has to be phased. We have to move into the recovery stage. The Honourable Gentleman wants to stay unreconstructed and not taking advantage of things changing and opening up so that we get an economic recovery. That is what the chancellor is doing, and I would refer to the enormous amount of money that goes to all parts of the United Kingdom because we are a single United Kingdom. The 3.8 billion pounds of has gone to Scotland is because the UK is better together.