Theresa May has a vision for Brexit – and it’s being driven by the hard right of the Conservative Party. The mantra of “no deal is better than a bad deal” is still the guiding principle of their Brexit strategy, despite the obvious calamitous consequences for the whole of the UK.
80,000 jobs in Scotland alone are at risk over the question of access to the Single Market and now it’s clear that the Tories will attempt to use Brexit as a power grab, despite the repeated promises, before and after the referendum, that new powers would be devolved to the Scottish Parliament.
Aberdeen will be hit hardest by Brexit, experts have predicted. Read why Single Market membership must be protected. https://t.co/RaELrdy6qo
— The SNP (@theSNP) July 27, 2017
The reality is we have Brexit being negotiated by a UK government with no clear mandate, precious little authority or credibility and a vision that no one voted for – least of all Scotland. So now more than ever, it is vitally important that we on the opposition benches unite to hold this minority government to account, and yet on the key issues of Brexit the Labour Party continues to be crippled with their own contradictions and division.
Over the past few months the Labour Party has dominated the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Instead of opposing Theresa May and her band of hard Brexiteers, the so-called ‘Official Opposition’ have instead spent their time fighting amongst themselves over the UK’s future relationship with the EU.
In the space of a week, the Labour Party continuously flipped flopped on their commitment to the Single Market with Jeremy Corbyn stating on the Andrew Marr show that he was abandoning the party’s support for Single Market membership, only for his Shadow Brexit Secretary, Keir Starmer, to rebuke him days later and say that Labour’s intention was to support remaining in the Single Market and customs union.
What’s Labour’s position on Europe? It’s a good question. pic.twitter.com/3e8SASxH41
— The SNP (@theSNP) July 30, 2017
Labour’s continued contradictions and confusion over the UK’s membership of the Single Market and customs union – which is key to the UK’s economy, growth and job opportunities – risks letting the Tories push through their extreme Brexit plans that will impact negatively on all of us. What Labour need to do is unify, and join with the SNP in holding the Tories to account.
However, if the Labour Party are incapable of agreeing on a single position on one of the biggest issues facing the UK as a whole, then it is clear that they are simply incapable of holding this weakened Tory government to account over their plans for a hard, damaging Brexit.
That is why it is vital that the Scottish Government, alongside other devolved administrations, are guaranteed a seat at the negotiating table in order to protect our economic interests, jobs and small and large businesses, and not simply be left to the recklessness of a Tory government intent on a pursuing an ideological cliff-edge Brexit.