IN my time as an MP, no issue has generated more concern locally than Brexit.

And no issue has more starkly demonstrated the difference between the Scottish and UK parliaments in their concern for Scottish interests.

This week, we saw the Westminster system at its worst.

A system that has prevented Scotland’s voice from being heard.

Astonishingly, the UK Parliament had just three days to debate around a hundred amendments to a Brexit Bill whose sole purpose is to shut down parliamentary scrutiny by handing absolute power on Brexit to the UK Government.

On Monday, we debated the impact of Brexit on EU citizens resident in the UK, a matter of concern to many in East Renfrewshire.

In over eight hours of debate, only four MPs representing Scottish constituencies were able to speak.

While many Conservative MPs spoke at great length, I was prevented from speaking at all, and my SNP colleague Joanna Cherry QC was told to sit down just two minutes into her speech.

Not surprisingly, those of us trying to have Scotland’s voice heard reacted angrily to this ridiculous ruling.

You elected me to speak for you in Parliament. To be able to represent you, I need to be able to speak.

The Westminster system has meant that your voice and the voices of people all across Scotland have been silenced on this most important issue.

The Prime Minister has faced questions about the rights of EU nationals resident in the UK on several occasions and every time she has sidestepped the issue.

Mrs May claims the UK Government would like to give us clarity, but can’t until they discuss the issue with their European counterparts.

She also claims the UK Government does not want to use EU nationals as bargaining chips.

But, by refusing to give them any guarantees, that is exactly what they are doing.

They are reducing our friends, neighbours, classmates, and colleagues to nothing more than bargaining chips, as they rush head-long to their Brexit cliff edge.

The contrast between the shambles at Westminster and the clear-minded approach of the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament could not be more stark.

From the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote, while accepting the right of other parts of the UK to act on the results of the referendum, the Scottish Government has moved to protect Scottish interests.

They produced clear and realistic proposals for a Brexit that properly reflects the different interests and outlooks across the UK. Something the UK Government has yet to do, and seems incapable of doing.

While showing the way on Brexit, the Scottish Government also delivered a budget that will support jobs and boost public services at this difficult time.

I was pleased to see the budget protect frontline policing, and provide additional funding for the NHS, while protecting household budgets for the vast majority of taxpayers.

I very much look forward to seeing the use made of the £1.3 million allocated to schools in East Renfrewshire to ensure our children have the best chance to succeed, no matter their financial circumstances.

You can follow me on Facebook and Twitter, keep up-to-date with my work on my website at or email me at