Rennie: Treat people with respect and give them the final say

Speaking in this afternoon's debate on Brexit negotiations, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP said: 

"“From day one this was bad news also because most of my funding has come from EU. When the government announced that the status of EU citizens would be part of the negotiations my decision to leave became final: if I would talk about our dogs that way my spouse would kick me out of the house."

"These are the words of a Professor, an EU national, who previously lived in Scotland for more than 10 years, but has already moved to elsewhere in EU – because of Brexit.

"I am ashamed that someone of such standing and education believed he has been treated like a dog by our government. Like a dog. We should treat people like we would like to be treated ourselves.

"The words of the professor are included in a report by the RSE Young Academy of Scotland.  He is one of many who have spoken about the personal and professional impact of Brexit.  It is a heart-breaking read. The report shows that much damage has already been done. Many are leaving or want to leave. But it is the damage that could yet been inflicted that I fear too.

"The negotiations have been a car crash in slow motion. The London School of Economic tell us the price of a no deal Brexit would be £30bn in five years. But none of this is inevitable. 

"If the Conservatives want an alternative option to a bad deal they should let the British people decide whether the deal is good enough. For such a monumental decision it should not be left to the Conservative cabinet to determine whether the deal is acceptable.

"Once the detail is known there should be a referendum to endorse it or otherwise. The option of remaining in the EU should be on the ballot paper.  Donald Tusk, the President of the Council, said that was possible just this week.

"Addressing MEPs, Mr Tusk said: “It is up to London how this will end: With a good deal, no deal or no Brexit”.  The EU countries are saying: there is a way back. And I would urge the Government to give the British people the right to turn back if they choose.

"Let’s start treating people with respect.  Give them the final say."

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