Never before has the UK faced such a serious economic catastrophe, created and pursued by the current Prime Minister. It falls to us, as the official opposition parties, to push for certainty around workers’ rights and the hundreds of thousands of jobs linked to the UK’s EU membership.
I stress that the SNP wants to work with Labour on this. I have been immensely proud of the work completed by the Scottish and Welsh governments in amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill – putting politics aside in favour of the national interest. I hope that we in Westminster can follow that progress and stop the damaging extreme Tory plan to drag the UK out of the single market.
Across the UK there is growing consensus that remaining a member of the single market and customs union would not only save jobs and protect rights, but would also give confidence for small and medium sized businesses to invest.
Of the 134,000 jobs estimated to be supported by demand from the EU in Scotland, around 55,000 were in manufacturing and 73,000 in services. The higher number in services reflects the impact of spill-over effects from trade into the wider Scottish economy.
With around 1,000 enterprises in Scotland where the parent company is from another EU country there is a real need to ensure workers’ rights are not stripped away by the current Tory government.
I whole heartedly welcome the TUC’s calls for protecting British workers and their rights after Brexit by keeping the UK in the single market.
As we’ve seen with the recent votes on the EU Withdrawal Bill, parliamentary arithmetic is tight for the government. The SNP and Labour have the power to make the UK government see its senses and end its ideological obsession with a hard Brexit and leaving the single market.
I write to invite you, at your earliest convenience, to meet with me and discuss how we can -together -make this intervention and deliver a Parliamentary vote in favour of the UK remaining a member of the single market and customs union.
SNP Westminster Group Leader