Inverclyde MSP calls on PM to rule out No Deal and commit to second EU referendum

Local SNP MSP Stuart McMillan has joined with colleagues from across the party divide to oppose Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal and call for the threat of No-Deal to be taken off the table.

Speaking in the chamber on Tuesday during a Scottish Government debate on EU withdrawal negotiations, MSPs from the SNP, Scottish Labour, Green Party and the Liberal Democrats highlighted the growing support across Scotland for an extension to the Article 50 process to avoid a No-Deal scenario on 29th March.

In a historic move, politicians at the Welsh Assembly joined forces with Holyrood to debate the same motion simultaneously. Scottish Brexit Secretary Mike Russell said the unprecedented event sent a “strong message to the UK government that it must stop pursing such a disastrous course of action”.

Political commentators have suggested there is currently no prospect of the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal being passed by MPs at Westminster at the second attempt scheduled for 12th March – just 17 days before the UK is set to crash out of the EU.

Research has shown that Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal would lead to a 6% fall in GDP by 2031, costing each person in Scotland £1,600.

Speaking in the debate, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“No-Deal should be definitively ruled out – and today, from Edinburgh and Cardiff, we demand that it is.

“The deal on the table guarantees more years of uncertainty during which Scotland’s interests will be at the mercy of a vicious, and seemingly never-ending, Tory civil war – one where the extreme Brexiteers are currently in the ascendancy.

“The preferable alternative option, in my view, is now a second EU referendum. After all, nobody voting to leave the EU knew precisely what they were voting for – the Leave campaign was deliberately vague, some may say deceitful, about the form Brexit would take.”

Last month, a report from the Chief Economic Advisor to Scotland warned that a No-Deal Brexit would expose up to 10-14% of Inverclyde’s workforce to economic shock and possible job losses.

Speaking in the chamber, Greenock and Inverclyde SNP MSP, Stuart McMillan, said:

“The EU withdrawal negotiations have proven, once and for all, that the Westminster elite and the Tory Party hold Scotland in contempt. Minister after minister has resigned or been sacked but, somehow, Chris Grayling is still in his job – what a disgraceful shambles. While more people go to foodbanks, the Tories give out dodgy contracts for boats that do not exist, and then they pay £33 million in hush money because of their arrogance and complete stupidity. It is estimated that Chris Grayling has cost the UK taxpayer £2.7 billion. If that had been any Scottish Government minister, the calls from the Tories for that minister to be sacked would have been off the scale.

“There have also been the financial bungs to get the DUP and other politicians on side. The DUP got its £1 billion bung for the confidence and supply arrangement, and we have heard that Northern Ireland will get an additional £140 million. There are absolutely no Barnett consequentials from those payments – I suspect that that is what is known as the union dividend.

“Once again, Scotland gets shafted and is to be put back into its box.

“I support the motion in the name of the First Minister. I am Scottish and I am European and I recognise that the EU is not perfect, but I also recognise the benefits that being a member of the EU brings. I want to protect the interests of Scotland, Wales and the UK as a whole, and that is why it is vital to extend article 50, hold a second referendum and reject the right-wing extremists.”

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