Guest Editorial: A Tumultuous month for UK Politics

Moray MP Angus Robertson returns to insdeMoray for his regular view of events from Westminster…..

A 'Tumultuous Month' - Angus Robertson MP
A ‘Tumultuous Month’ – Angus Robertson MP

They say a week is a long time in politics and it seems that nearly every day this month has been a long time, never mind a week.

Since the European Referendum it is hard to remember a time when so much has happened in such a short space of time but, at the same time, so little!

Following the EU referendum the Prime Minister announced his intention to step down, putting in place a Tory leadership contest, at the same time literally dozens of members of the Labour Shadow Cabinet were resigning in protest at Labour’s leadership and they are now in the midst of a pretty bitter leadership contest.

The Tories looked liked they were going to have a full leadership contest but after one of the remaining two candidates stepped down we now have a new Prime Minister in the shape of Theresa May and a whole host of new Cabinet Ministers.

I’m not.

By some distance the longest serving MP in Westminster but I’ve now been an MP for 15 years and certainly in that time there has been nothing quite so disruptive as the changes in the last month.

However, and it is a big however, we are still no further forward in understanding what the UK Government plans to do about its relationship with Europe.

There is a great deal of comment from UK Government representatives about Europe and the Brexit vote but, it seems, no actual discussion with Europe. This level of uncertainty cannot continue indefinitely and merely serves to illustrate that there was no plan from Government members of the Leave campaign of what to do in the event of a Leave vote!

The severe contrast in Scotland is that nearly two thirds of those who voted, voted to Remain in the EU.

It is vital in protecting our interests in Scotland, including maintaining access to the European Market for the many exporting businesses in Moray – not least of which are our major food producers and fish processors and our dozens of whisky distilleries – that the Scottish Government works with Europe. It is also vital that the UK Government recognises the vote in Scotland and works with the Scottish Government to protect those interests.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has made early contact with European leaders and diplomats with a very positive response. In Westminster I will be working with colleagues to support that positive work and to try to ensure that the many benefits we have gained being part of the EU are not lost in the coming months.

In the last few weeks it has been as if a power cut has shut down the computer without our work being saved; the question now is how much of that work we need and what will be recoverable when the computer reboots!

Free trade, workers rights, environmental controls, freedom of movement and much, much more besides is the work that has been done – what will remain of that in a couple of years?