Friday, 02 March 2018 16:38


The SNP has said that the UK government’s response so far to the EU’s draft withdrawal agreement has shown the “incompetence” dominating Downing Street, as the draft contains what was already agreed or discussed in the December negotiations.

Stephen Gethins MP, the SNP’s Foreign Affairs and Europe spokesperson, added that the EU’s draft treaty reveals that if the case for Northern Ireland remaining in the single market and customs union is viable, then the UK government has no practical or logical position to hit Scotland’s economy, businesses, labour market and livelihoods by denying the same agreement for Scotland.

Stephen Gethins MP said:

“The UK government’s response to the EU’s withdrawal agreement has shown the chaos consuming Downing Street, given that the draft should contain no surprises for the Tories as the terms were discussed and agreed in the December negotiations.

“We are fully 20 months on from the EU referendum, and it is beyond belief that the UK government is immobilised by incompetence and incapable of reaching a position amongst themselves on the UK’s future relationship with the EU.

“In just this month alone we have witnessed a series of ‘Road to Brexit’ speeches that have offered no further clarity, the Prime Minister’s lockdown at Chequers with her Cabinet – which swiftly unravelled with contradictory statements from her most senior Cabinet members – and Boris Johnson’s reckless and flippant comparison of Camden and Westminster to the Irish border.

“The Good Friday Agreement cannot be undermined or put at risk by a Tory government more intent on pursuing its ideological hard Brexit. If Northern Ireland is to effectively remain within the single market and customs union - as the draft EU agreement suggests – then there is no logical reason for Scotland not doing so either.

“Time is running out and with just over a year before the UK’s self-imposed exile day from the EU, it’s time for the UK government to get a grip."

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