Category Archives: Speech

Speaking in Parliament: The Trade Bill


In the debate on the Trade Bill I underline the importance of protecting our high quality food and environmental standards, and our NHS, from the vested interests of US companies. “I think it’s absolutely essential that the National Health Service free at the point of delivery, and predicated on being a service delivered by a public duty rather than by… Read more »

Calling on the PM to extend the Furlough Scheme


Our European friends have seen the potential danger of forcing people back into work over the winter months, as well as the huge economic downside of pushing more and more people into unemployment and have very sensibly decided to extend the furlough scheme. We in Scotland do not have the economic powers necessary to implement our own furlough scheme so… Read more »

Question in Parliament on Broadband and Mobile Coverage


I asked the Minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport about UK Government targets for Broadband and Mobile coverage. Good coverage is vital to keep our economy going and – most importantly – to keep up our connections with our friends and loved ones, however the UK Government’s current target for Scotland could leave many people (mainly in rural areas… Read more »

Protecting the lowest paid from Coronavirus Economic Consequences


Responding to today’s speech from the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, I pointed out that “the least well off have suffered disproportionately with the health effects of this virus… they must not pay the price of the economic consequences.” I asked the Chancellor to “assure that the cost of these measures will not be borne by the poor and low paid, instead… Read more »

Unfair National Grid Connection Charges


I asked Alok Sharma, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, about ending the discriminatory regime of National Grid connection charges. These charges disproportionately affect sites in Scotland, Wales and the North of England, but it is in Scotland where the highest charges anywhere in the UK are applied. In contrast, energy producers based in London and… Read more »

Prime Minister’s Questions – Animal Welfare and Food Standards


Today at Prime Minister’s questions, I asked Boris Johnson to clarify the UK government’s intentions on animal welfare and food standards. The government have been avoiding the subject: they failed to enshrine protections in the Agriculture Bill, and earlier this week Ministers equivocated on this issue, so I called on the Prime Minister to “be clear today that high standards… Read more »

Debate on the Future Relationship with the EU: Negotiations


In the debate yesterday about the negotiations of a Future Relationship with the EU I asked Michael Gove whether or not there will be some arrangement to allow law enforcement in Scotland to have access to the European arrest warrant and Europol, both of which are important to ensure the safety and security of our society. His answer was simply… Read more »

Debate on Tackling Alcohol Harm


I spoke in a debate on Tackling Alcohol Harm in Westminster Hall on Tuesday (17 March). You can watch the full debate at the Parliament.Tv website here. And read my contribution at Hansard here.