Monday, 07 January 2019 16:39

IAN BLACKFORD: PRIME MINISTER GUILTY OF RUNNING DOWN THE CLOCK TO A NO-DEAL BREXIT

Responding to an Urgent Question in Westminster on the Prime Minister’s progress in achieving legal changes to the EU Withdrawal Agreement, the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford MP said:

“It is with regret that we return after the Christmas break with no progress from the UK government on the Withdrawal Agreement – and even more remarkable – we return with no Prime Minister in Parliament to respond to this Urgent Question.

“We are now just days away from the deadline to get a deal to protect our economy and Theresa May is not in Parliament to explain her government’s lack of progress.

“It is now clear beyond doubt the Prime Minister's tactic is to run down the clock and deprive Parliament of any alternative to her Brexit proposals, bringing the prospect of no deal closer.

“The SNP will work across Parliament to get support for an alternative - that is to have another EU referendum and let the people take back control from this UK government.

“I say to the Leader of the Opposition to get off the fence – and finally join us – to stop this government’s chaotic Brexit.

“Shamefully we are in exactly the same situation now as before Christmas with the Tory government again facing defeat but having wasted a month of precious time.

“This is not a game. The risks are real. The economic disaster facing our communities across these islands is real.

“It is suggested that the proposed letter between the UK and the EU regarding the backstop will not come before the debate on the meaningful vote. We cannot operate in the dark.

“The UK government must show us the detail and tell us today how it believes these assurances will be enough to win support for its shambolic deal.

"Moreover – if, which is extremely likely, the UK government loses the vote next week – will it commit to immediately extending article 50?

“The First Minister of Scotland was very clear today, that the events in the last few years have made the case for Scotland being an independent country in charge of our own destiny, even stronger.

“Scotland being dragged out of the EU against our will, our Parliament’s powers being eroded, the UK government treating the Scottish Government with contempt, and even when we seek compromise – Scotland’s voice is side-lined.

“The UK government should wake up to reality, Scotland knows who is leading in their interests and it is not the government in Westminster.”

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