The Tory litany of broken Brexit promises

Over the years, the Scottish Tories broke one Brexit promise after another – and Boris Johnson’s extreme Brexit deal lays them bare.

As Douglas Ross and his Scottish Tory MPs prepare to back the Brexit deal that’s simply disastrous for Scotland, they would probably prefer if people forgot what they’ve said.

To remind them, here are just some of their string of Brexit lies, deflections and broken promises.

Young people’s opportunities: abandoned

The Erasmus+ programme, established by former SNP MEP Winnie Ewing in 1987, is a European scheme that allows young people, regardless of their background, to be able to study, volunteer, or work abroad.

Jackson Carlaw, former leader of the Scottish Tories, promised that the UK government was “fighting to ensure that Erasmus+ continues” and slammed the SNP for “grandstanding” when we repeatedly raised concerns about post-Brexit access to the scheme.

Now, it’s clear that Boris Johnson’s deal deprives Scotland’s young people of vital opportunities – with Michel Barnier confirming that “the British Government decided not to participate in the Erasmus exchange programme.

That’s despite Boris Johnson, only a year before, claiming there was “no threat to the Erasmus scheme” and that the UK will “continue to participate in it“.

Scottish fishing communities: sold out

In 2018, Douglas Ross said it would be easier to get someone to “drink a pint of cold sick” than to back a fishing deal that allowed two years of access to waters for EU vessels.

Now, he pledged to support Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal that’s far worse than that – giving EU fishing vessels access to UK waters for at least five years, and probably more.

John Lamont is another Scottish Tory who made promises to Scotland’s fishing community by pledging he would vote down any deal that did not deliver “total control of fish stocks and vessel access”.

All of the 13 Scottish Tory MPs, including Douglas Ross and John Lamont, even signed a letter in 2018 saying they “could not support an agreement with the EU that would prevent the UK from independently negotiating access and quota shares“, claiming that it would be a “betrayal of Scotland” if they voted for that.

Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal doesn’t even come close to delivering that – but the remaining six Scottish Tory MPs are now set to emphatically back what they themselves called a “betrayal of Scotland“.

David Duguid claimed access to waters was his “red line” and said it should not be tied to any Brexit deal.

Even though Boris Johnson’s trade deal gives EU vessels access to UK waters for several years, Duguid’s red line has mysteriously vanished – proving yet again that Scottish Tories will always roll over to their Westminster bosses.

Scotland’s interests: ignored

In 2018, BBC reported that Baroness Ruth Davidson and David Mundell could not support any Brexit deal that introduces different arrangements for Northern Ireland, suggesting they would be prepared to resign if Northern Ireland was given special arrangements which differ from Scotland.

Now, Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal claims to give Northern Ireland “the best of both worlds” – with extra benefits and special access to the EU’s single market – while dragging Scotland out of the EU with the hardest Brexit, despite Scotland voting to remain in the EU by the highest margin.

And instead of staying true to their word and resigning, David Mundell is set to march through the Westminster lobbies to back the Brexit deal that is fundamentally unfair for Scotland, while Ruth Davidson has been rewarded with a life peerage and an ermine cloak.

It’s time to put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands

This ridiculous claim by the Better Together campaign has not aged well.

In 2014, we were told the only way to preserve Scotland’s EU membership was to vote “No”, and that the United Kingdom was a “partnership of equals“.

Since then, the Brexit vote and the way in which Scotland has been consistently ignored by Westminster have turned these promises into dust.

Scotland’s future must lie in Scotland’s hands – not those of Boris Johnson and the Scottish Tories, who have consistently sold out Scotland’s interests and imposed an extreme Brexit which we firmly rejected.