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12/03/19 14:40

Brexit deal must be defeated

Mr Russell: MPs must respect the decision of the Scottish Parliament.

The revised Brexit deal proposed by the UK Government will be highly damaging to Scotland, Constitutional Relations Secretary Michael Russell said today.

Speaking ahead of tonight’s ‘meaningful vote’ in the House of Commons, Mr Russell said:

“The only certainty that the Prime Minister’s deal delivers is to take the people of Scotland out of the EU against their will, with all the damage that will bring.

“Scotland’s interests have been ignored throughout the whole Brexit process and this deal will mean a permanent hit to jobs, living standards and the NHS. 

“The substance of the deal, which remains unchanged, will mean:

  • Scotland being taken out of the European Single Market, which is eight times the size of the UK alone
  • The likelihood of Scotland’s working population falling as the end of freedom of movement starts to bite
  • A fall in income per head of around  £1,600 compared with EU membership, because of the Prime Minister’s red lines

“Before yesterday, Scotland and the UK as a whole were facing a blindfold Brexit with no clarity on the future relationship with the EU. Today, if anything, that blindfold has tightened.

“All the difficult issues have been kicked down the road, guaranteeing UK politics will become ever more mired in Brexit chaos for many years to come. We know that this chaotic approach has already reduced investment, and the next phase of uncertainty will mean further damage.

“Scotland’s interests will be ignored and our future will be in the hands of obsessive anti-European MPs, who hold enormous sway over the UK Government.

“It is time MPs from all parties respected the decision of the Scottish Parliament, which overwhelmingly rejected the Prime Minister’s deal.

“This deal must be defeated tonight. The clock must be stopped on Brexit to prevent this disaster and enable another referendum on EU membership to be held - with remain on the ballot paper.”