Saturday, 22 September 2018 06:27

“NOW OR NEVER FOR LABOUR” TO BACK SINGLE MARKET

BACK SCOTLAND OVER PM TO AVOID JOBS WRECKING BREXIT
 
The SNP has said it’s “now or never for Labour” to back Single Market membership, to save Scottish jobs and protect our economy from the damage of Brexit.
 

Despite Theresa May’s efforts to double down on Chequers, the EU has now made completely clear that this proposal is a dead duck.
 
Following the Prime Minister’s unscheduled statement on Friday it is increasingly obvious that there are only two options now left on the table: a catastrophic ‘No Deal’ outcome, or a future within the Single Market – the latter being the only workable way to avoid serious economic harm.
 
Labour has consistently voted in favour of retaining Scotland’s place in the Single Market at Holyrood, however the party policy remains a confused position of wishing to leave the European Single Market while retaining Customs Union access – one which top EU officials have rubbished as unworkable.
 
As Labour’s Conference begins in Liverpool today (Sunday), the SNP is calling on Richard Leonard to “be brave, put his money where his mouth is and give Scottish Labour’s unequivocal backing for continued Single Market membership”.
 
Commenting, Angela Constance MSP said:
 
“It’s now or never for Labour – will they back keeping our membership of the single market, protecting jobs or will they back Theresa May and the economic ruin of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit?
 
“27 months have elapsed since the EU referendum and a weak, indecisive Labour party has so far let the Tories off the hook – allowing them to drive the country ever closer to the Brexit cliff edge.
 
“But now that Chequers is a dead duck, we face an increasingly stark choice between two outcomes: a disastrous, job-wrecking ‘No Deal’ or a workable way to remain in the Single Market and Customs Union back on the table.
 
“Given Scotland did not vote for any of this chaos, the only acceptable outcome is the latter – to minimise damage to jobs and our economy.
 
“At Holyrood, Labour has backed retaining Scotland’s place in the Single Market.
 
“And as we enter the throes of an increasingly stark choice over Scotland’s future, it’s time for Labour to speak up. If they don’t, they’ll be complicit in 80,000 jobs lost and our economy hammered to the tune of £13 billion.
 
“Richard Leonard should be brave, put his money where his mouth is and give Scottish Labour’s unequivocal backing for continued Single Market membership.”
 
 
In the Scottish Parliament, Labour has voted to retain Scotland’s place in the Single Market:
26th June 2016
S5M-00601 Nicola Sturgeon: Implications of the EU Referendum for Scotland— That the Parliament welcomes the overwhelming vote of the people of Scotland to remain in the European Union; affirms to citizens of other EU countries living here that they remain welcome and that their contribution is valued; mandates the Scottish Government to have discussions with the UK Government, other devolved administrations, the EU institutions and member states to explore options for protecting Scotland’s relationship with the EU, Scotland’s place in the single market and the social, employment and economic benefits that come from that, and instructs the Scottish Government to report back regularly to parliamentarians, to the European and External Relations Committee and the Parliament on the progress of those discussions and to seek Parliament’s approval of the outcome of that process.
14th September 2016
That the Parliament recognises the importance of EU membership to Scotland and welcomes the Prime Minister’s assurance that she will not trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty until there is an agreed UK approach and objectives for negotiations; agrees that Scotland’s interests are best served within the EU and that a key objective must be for Scotland and the UK to remain inside the EU Single Market; supports the Scottish Government participating fully in all negotiations between the UK Government and the EU in the run-up to, and during, the Article 50 process, while consulting and reporting back to the Parliament on its objectives and priorities, and supports an approach that protects Scotland’s democratic and economic interests, social protection, the principle of solidarity and the ability to influence decision-making within the EU.
4th October 2016
That the Parliament recognises the benefits of EU membership to Scotland and that Scotland’s interests are best served by protecting Scotland’s existing relationship in Europe, maintaining membership of the single market and access to the free movement of labour; welcomes the Scottish Government’s reassurance on the tuition fee status of continuing EU students and those beginning an undergraduate course in 2016; acknowledges Scotland’s success to date in securing EU funding and recognises the benefits that this brings to Scottish universities and colleges; notes that the outcome of the EU referendum potentially makes it harder to attract EU students to study in Scotland, to maintain opportunities for Scottish students and academics in Europe and to collaborate across Europe; resolves to promote Scotland’s willingness to continue to collaborate with European partners and to attract the best international talent to maintain the world-class reputation of Scottish universities and colleges, and calls on the UK Government to ensure that Scotland has a role in decision-making, as well as full involvement in all negotiations between the UK Government and the EU, to protect the interests of staff and students in Scotland’s universities and colleges.

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