Westminster has ignored Scotland for too long.
Nearly three years on from the EU referendum, we are still trapped in the Brexit mess created by a Tory Government consumed by incompetence and chaos.
Two weeks ago, on March 29, Scotland faced being dragged out of the EU against its will and we faced losing rights we have benefited from as EU citizens.
Those plans may have fallen apart as Theresa May suffered defeat after defeat, however, Scotland now faces the renewed threat of the Brexit cliff-edge date of April 12 – in just four days – and still the Tories are no closer in seeking to find a way out.
The SNP has shown over the past three years that we are willing to find a compromise position to end the Brexit impasse. Those efforts have been met with a brick wall.
Time and time again, our voice, our vote and our interests have been shoved to the sidelines, with the 10 DUP MPs having more of a say over Scotland’s future than Scotland’s own MPs or Parliament in Holyrood.
We have been clear – Scotland will not be held hostage by a Tory Government more interested in putting its fractured party interests above all else.
"Scotland will not accept a Tory or Labour Brexit – Scotland voted to remain in the EU and we will not be dragged out against our will"
— Tom French (@tomfrench85) April 3, 2019
Given that the UK Parliament has been unable to reach a consensus or position – coupled with everything we now know over the damaging impact Brexit will have – it must now be the priority that the issue is brought back to the people in a fresh EU referendum, with the option to remain on the ballot paper.
There is no such thing as a good Brexit. Reports and analyses have found Brexit will hit Scotland’s economy, it will harm small and large businesses seeking to grow, and it will be detrimental to our living standards and job opportunities.
Our public services, people’s livelihoods and jobs are not pawns in a Tory civil war that could see bumbling Boris Johnson become PM. Scotland deserves better and it is becoming clearer every day that the only way to properly protect our interests is through independence.
⏰ Any Brexit option cobbled together at the last minute by Labour and the Tories will make Scotland poorer.
And it could potentially be unpicked by a future Tory PM – such as Boris Johnson. pic.twitter.com/wxEztru0nL
— The SNP (@theSNP) April 3, 2019
Scotland cannot and will not be forced to the pay the price for a Tory-driven Brexit.
That is why we will continue to make the case that this must come back to the people in a second EU referendum, and the option to revoke Article 50 and escape the Brexit nightmare to avoid a catastrophic no-deal outcome must also be on the table.
I have been fortunate enough to have lived and worked in other EU countries and my son has been able to enjoy those rights too.
People across Scotland and the UK have been able to travel, live and experience other cultures with ease. It is unacceptable that future generations face having those rights snatched away.
The current Westminster state of affairs is a far cry from the days when the Tories proclaimed that Scotland should lead the UK, not leave it. Or that the UK is a partnership of equals. What a brazen falsehood that has proven to be.
The last two years in Westminster has proved that that could not be further from the truth. Scotland’s voice and wishes have been intentionally ignored.
The time is fast approaching for Scotland to forge its own future as an independent and progressive country with its rightful place in the EU.
This article originally appeared in the Daily Record.