It is fair to say that whilst everyone has their own views on the Brexit vote, it is vital that the voice of the Scottish Parliament be heard amongst deliberations. It was therefore felt to be utterly disrespectful last week that in the House of Commons, speaking time in the Brexit debate on issues of devolution was limited to just 17 minutes. These minutes were then taken up entirely by one speech; that of the UK Government Minister, and opposition MPs were effectively silenced via parliamentary procedures. The vote then took place on this matter with no adequate debate being held.
The next day, we found ourselves to be in as a surreal situation, in that when SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford utilised parliamentary procedures to request a SO24 during PMQ’s to secure a debate, he was refused although the procedure was itself ruled in order, and he was then ejected from the Commons.
Leaving the House of Commons that morning, alongside colleagues in solidarity, to stand firm for our voice to be heard, is what it took last week at Westminster to firstly trigger a statement from the Scottish Secretary on devolution the next day and then the granting of a debate today.
I am therefore heading down to Westminster, to ensure that I can speak in this vital debate. This will not alter the outcome of the vote but it gives us some shred of a democratic voice. People should be in no doubt, I will always ensure that the views of the Scottish Parliament and of local constituents are heard and represented in such important matters.
Across our constituency, lighter moments ensued this week and I was absolutely delighted to open the 2018 Glassford Gala Day. It was fantastic to see the array of best dressed houses, to judge the bake off (always a great job!) and to meet with the each of the children and to congratulate them on their fancy dress during the competition. The organisers were brilliant and everyone had a fabulous time despite rain clouds trying to interfere with best laid gala day plans. Once again, I’d like to thank the organisers for making this a memorable and successful event with full community participation across Glassford.
On Sunday, I was delighted to attend East Kilbride Legion Scotland to support further fundraising for Erskine Hospital, Soldiers off the Street, EK Dementia Carers, Enable and other worthwhile local and national causes. The hall was full to the brim and there was great entertainment for everyone all afternoon. Our Legion has gone from strength to strength due to the commitment of local people, and considerable funds were pledged on the day for charity including £150 for a signed Scotland strip donated by football legend Gordon Smith and arranged by South Lanarkshire Council Veteran’s Spokesperson.
My Annual Veterans Day, will be held at the Legion in East Kilbride on the 28th June 2018 at 11am. Please advise my office (firstname.lastname@example.org /01355587430) if you have not already received your invitation, as all local veterans and their families are welcome. I am looking forward to a great day again this year, where we pay special tribute to all who have served.