Saturday, 26 November 2016 06:42

TIME for Davidson to choose on Europe

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The SNP is this weekend challenging Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson over the stance her party is taking on Scotland’s future in Europe.

Ms Davidson has enthusiastically embraced the hard Brexiteers and their agenda ahead of Scotland’s interests – despite previously condemning the “lies” she said were the foundation of the Leave campaign.

During the EU referendum campaign, she warned voters that “You're being asked to make a decision on Friday that's irreversible, you can't change it, and you're being sold it on a lie”.

And even after the Brexit vote, Ms Davidson insisted in July that the UK should maintain single market membership, but the Scottish Tories last week ditched this support voting against protecting Scotland’s place in the world’s largest single market in a Scottish Parliament debate.

The Scottish Tory leader had also previously argued in the independence referendum that “No means we stay in” the EU.

SNP MSP Joan McAlpine, Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Europe Committee, said:

“The time has now come for Ruth Davidson – who said the case for Brexit was based on ‘lies’ – to say whose side she is on. Do the Tories support efforts to protect Scottish jobs and our economy, or the efforts of those who say they would try and prevent that?

“Ms Davidson and her party appear to be acting as cheerleaders for Spanish politicians who claim they would try to block Scotland’s continued single market membership.

“That is an extraordinary position for any Scottish political leader or party to take, and they should explain to the Scottish public why they are doing so.”

Ms McAlpine added:

“We have made clear that we are intent on pursuing every option to protect our place in Europe – including independence if it becomes clear it is the best or only way to do so.

“But Ruth Davidson seems determined to drag Scotland out of the EU against our will, dragging us over the cliff-edge of a hard Brexit, with all the damage that would cause.

“This is shameful behaviour from Scots Tories who warned of the dire consequences of Scotland being taken out of the single market but who are now cheerleaders for the hard-right wing of the Tory party who have hijacked the Brexit process.

“Even after the Brexit vote, Ruth Davidson said she wanted Scotland and the whole of the UK to remain in the single market – what has changed?

“The real cost of leaving the EU has now been laid bare in the form of lower growth, lower tax revenues, higher borrowing, higher debt and higher inflation – and yet the Scottish Tories and their leader continue to want to silence Scotland’s voice in Brexit negotiations. It’s high time Ruth Davidson and her party put Scotland’s interests first.”


1. Ruth Davidson promised voters in 2014 that a No vote ensured Scotland would stay in the EU. Not true as Scotland voted No and the UK could take it out the EU:

"It’s disingenuous to say No means out and Yes means in, when actually the opposite is true. No means we stay in. We are members of the European Union."

STV Referendum Debate, 2 September 2014

2. In the BBC referendum debate she said the case for Brexit was based on a ‘lies’. Now she is arguing that Scotland should Brexit with UK on what she called

"You're being asked to make a decision on Friday that's irreversible, you can't change it, and you're being sold it on a lie. They lied about the costs of Europe they lied about Turkey they lied about the European army. They've put them in their leaflets and it's not good enough. You deserve the truth. You deserve the truth!"

BBC EU Referendum Debate, 22 June 2016

3. She told BBC's Sunday Politics Scotland programme that she wanted to stay IN the single market. She voted against this option in the Scottish Parliament:

“I want to stay in the single market.. even if a consequence of that is maintaining free movement of Labour.”

BBC's Sunday Politics Scotland, 4 July 2016