Monday, 28 November 2016 06:57

MUDDLED Mundell still confused over single market

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Scottish Secretary David Mundell has once again refused to say whether he would back single market membership for Scotland - despite both his and Ruth Davidson’s previous assurances they’d back Scotland remaining in the single market.

Ruth Davidson insisted in July that the UK should maintain single market membership, but the Scottish Tories this month ditched this support, voting against protecting Scotland’s place in the world’s largest single market in a Scottish Parliament debate.

When repeatedly asked on Sunday Politics whether he was arguing in the Cabinet for single market membership, David Mundell would only say “what I am arguing for is that Scotland gets the best possible access”.

Mr Mundell also struggled to answer whether he backed Ruth Davidson’s position that the UK government should not block an independence referendum. After being asked six times, he eventually stated “my position isn’t inconsistent with what Ruth said.”

Commenting, SNP MSP Stuart McMillan said:

“The Tories are all over the place on single market membership - and it increasingly looks as if they’ve been given a gagging order from London.

“Even after the EU referendum both Ruth Davidson and David Mundell said that they would fight for single market membership. Now, when pushed, they can do no better than mealy mouthed answers about ‘best possible access’ and ‘bespoke deals’. What has changed?

“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 the latest example of the Scottish Tories abandoning their principles because Theresa May – who previously warned of the dangers of leaving the single market herself – has ordered the party to get behind a hard-right Tory Brexit.

“The Tories are in complete denial – there is no ‘bespoke deal’ that allows Theresa May all of the advantages of EU membership while simultaneously burning our bridges with Europe.”