Keir Starmer is throwing Scotland under the Brexit bus

Scotland never voted for Brexit – 32/32 of Scotland’s local authority areas voted Remain in 2016 – but we’re all now paying the price for a damaging, costly Brexit.

Since then, Labour has teamed up with the Tories to continue imposing Brexit in Scotland, as Keir Starmer confirmed that a future UK Labour government would not seek to rejoin Europe.

“Make Brexit work”

Keir Starmer has repeatedly used the line “make Brexit work” and talks of “taking advantage of the opportunities of Brexit”, in a clear message that his Labour Party now fully supports Brexit.

He doesn’t even consider a softer form of Brexit as a possibility, as he ruled out rejoining the single market and the customs union as well.

Brexit exacerbates the cost of living crisis – but Starmer backs it anyway

Keir Starmer and the overwhelming majority of his Labour MPs voted for Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal, and now continue supporting it – despite clear evidence of its disastrous consequences for Scotland’s economy, jobs and communities.

The OBR has estimated that an average UK household pays £3,600 for the economic damage of Brexit over 15 years.

This equals to £240 a year, a significant amount when families are already struggling with rising energy bills, rising food prices and squeezed wages.

Food bills alone have risen by at least £100 a year as a direct consequence of Brexit, forcing hard-pressed families to foot the bill at a time of the cost-of-living crisis.

The economy is hit hard by Brexit – but Starmer backs it anyway

The UK is the only country in north west Europe to have suffered a drop in exports since 2016, and the ONS showed that Scotland’s economy has already fallen by 6% as a result of Brexit imposed on us against our will.

The UK also remains the only member of the G7 — the group of advanced economies that also includes Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States — with an economy smaller than it was before the pandemic.

Britain’s economy is set to be the weakest performing in the developed world this year, according to an IMF forecast.

And to put it in context, for all the economic disruption that the Covid restrictions have caused, the OBR said that the economic impact of Brexit hits twice as hard.

It’s clear that the economy is hammered by Brexit, hurting jobs and livelihoods – and yet Starmer supports it at any cost.

Scotland strongly opposes Brexit – but Starmer backs it anyway

While Westminster voted to drag Scotland out of the EU, the Scottish Parliament has repeatedly voted to refuse consent to the Brexit Bill.

Meanwhile, Scottish Labour’s only MP, Ian Murray, marched through the Westminster lobbies with Boris Johnson to impose Brexit on Scotland and his Edinburgh constituents – despite Edinburgh being the most pro-EU city in the whole of the UK, voting 74.4% to Remain.

Polls consistently show the overwhelming majority of Scots (around 75%) think Brexit has gone badly and would like to rejoin the EU, but in a shoddy attempt to win back votes in England, Keir Starmer has completely abandoned Scotland.

Brexit goes against his own key pledges – but Starmer backs it anyway

Earlier in the Brexit process, Keir Starmer has set out his ‘six Brexit tests’ – saying that if one of them isn’t met, he won’t back a Brexit deal.

These include “exact same benefits as single market and customs union membership” and “delivering for all regions and nations of the UK”. It’s clear that the current Brexit deal, which Starmer and Labour voted for, doesn’t even come close to meeting these criteria.

When he stood to be Labour leader in 2020, Starmer pledged to “defend free movement as we leave the EU” – but he since abandoned that commitment too, as Labour said they will no longer back the return of free movement.

By backing a Tory Brexit at any cost, Starmer not only went against…

  • Scotland’s will to remain in the EU
  • Scottish Labour voters’ will
  • Scottish Labour MSPs
  • Welsh Labour government’s will
  • Economic common sense

…but even his own pledges.

Only the SNP supports Scotland’s place in Europe

While both Labour and the Lib Dems now supporting Brexit, only the SNP has consistently stood up for Scotland’s overwhelming vote to remain in the EU and stuck firmly to its principles.

Starmer’s position on Brexit also means that even if Labour win the next UK general election, Scotland would still be trapped in the cycle of Brexit damage.

Independence is now the only way for Scotland to regain our place in Europe – there is simply no way back under Westminster control.