Brexit will overshadow Cameron's legacy

Amid all of the political turmoil at Westminster the end of David Cameron’s premiership offers us a chance to reflect on his record. 

A great deal has changed since 2010, but I don’t think it’s credible to say that the economic or political life of the country has improved during Cameron’s time in office.

For example we’ve seen internal party politics becoming increasingly significant at Westminster. The quality of debate across the chamber has suffered as a result.

I don’t think this is good for democracy — political parties should reach out and engage beyond their base and natural areas of support.

Let’s not forget that the decision to hold a referendum on Europe was a product of this attitude. Despite all the difficulties it presented for the future of the country the vote was essentially about resolving an internal split within the Tory party.

While David Cameron is an excellent communicator, this doesn’t compensate for his record of taking decisions on the basis of short term political gain rather than in the overall national interest.

The Chilcot report reminded us that Tony Blair’s legacy has been totally overshadowed by his disastrous decision to take the country to war in 2003.

As Prime Minister Cameron knew that leaving the European Union was likely to damage Britain’s standing in the world and destabilise Britain’s economy, but he went ahead with a vote on it, despite the warnings.

In time I think Brexit will come to be seen as Cameron’s Iraq – a political gamble based on arrogance and a great risk that was taken for all the wrong reasons.

It’s not difficult to see why many people feel more insecure than they did in 2010.

The course of austerity pursued by the Tories is a political choice, not a necessity and they have consistently opted to place the burden of austerity upon the most vulnerable in society.

Since 2010 half a million children have been forced back into poverty. The use of foodbanks has skyrocketed

Cameron’s parting shot to Scotland was a motion put before Parliament on Monday supporting nuclear weapons continuing to be based in Scotland well into the second half of this century.

One of the most important aspects of any country’s public life is how it conducts itself as a global citizen. On Trident, as on their cavalier approach to our place in Europe, the Tories are stuck in the past.

At a time of austerity, they are intent on investing billions in refurbishing a Cold War arsenal — a weapons system that is both obscene and obsolete. Trident takes much needed money away from our conventional forces and prevents us from meeting the new security challenges we’re likely to meet in the 21st century.

It’s becoming clearer that Scotland is a European country committed to peaceful cooperation and collective security achieved through close cooperation with our neighbours — on so many vital issues we have looked to the future – the opposite direction to David Cameron’s Britain.