Monday, 10 September 2018 15:34



With only 200 days remaining before the UK is scheduled to leave the EU, the SNP has urged the Prime Minister to back continued membership of the Single Market and Customs Union.

The party’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford said that “time is of the essence” to protect Scottish businesses and tens of thousands of jobs by remaining inside the world’s largest common market. He has warned Theresa May of being in thrall to the Brexiteers, who are cynically and recklessly talking up the likelihood of a ‘no deal’ scenario – with Boris Johnson’s hyperbole becoming increasingly shrill.

The SNP has challenged the Prime Minister to put national interest ahead of the increasing tensions and division within the Tory ranks. She is increasingly struggling to provide leadership amidst the bitter infighting.

Today (Monday) marks 200 days until UK’s departure from the EU, with 810 days having already elapsed – in which time the UK government has failed to devise a credible and agreed plan, and with the November deadline for the Prime Minister to reach a deal with Brussels.

Commenting, Ian Blackford MP said:

“The UK government only has 200 days left before they drag us out of the EU.

“But we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact they’ve already spent over 800 days fighting over the shape of Brexit – essentially a debate on what degree of harm they are prepared to inflict upon our economy.

“And whatever deal is ultimately reached, the bitter infighting will leave the Tories a deeply damaged party at the end of the process.

“What the Prime Minister must not do is listen to the increasingly frenetic noises coming from the Brexit ultras on the government benches. While Boris Johnson might be trying to stake a claim to the Tory leadership – an unconscionable prospect – his vision for Brexit would result in significant loss to our economy, jobs thrown on the scrapheap and businesses going bust.

“What Theresa May has an opportunity to do is put remaining in the Single Market and Customs Union back up the agenda. The least worst option, short of remaining in the EU, which will give us certainty over trade and our position in the global economy.

“But time is of the essence – it may be 200 days until we leave the EU, but it’s only a couple of months until the Prime Minister has to have a deal agreed with Brussels.

“A no deal scenario should not be entertained by anyone with a modicum of good sense. The PM should get a grip of her party and shut down the rampaging right-wingers who, in talking up that very prospect, are putting their own narrow interests ahead of what is good for Scotland.”

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