MPs must unite to fight Boris Johnson’s assault on democracy

Without a mandate, without a majority and in a blatant plot to impose a catastrophic no-deal Brexit, Boris Johnson announced he would shut down Parliament under the guise of a Queen’s Speech to move ahead with plans to push through an extreme Brexit.

The manoeuvre to suspend Parliament weeks before the October deadline would curtail Parliament and deny MPs the chance to hold this Tory government to account and prevent it from inflicting lasting economic and social harm.

Make no mistake about it – such a move is not just utterly disgraceful, it is inherently undemocratic. This brazen attack on democracy has all the traits of a dictatorship and it underlines yet again just how broken and unfit for purpose Westminster really is.

Since the EU referendum more than three years ago, MPs and the devolved governments have been sidelined and shunned, as the Tories have lurched even further to the extremes with their damaging Brexit plans.

That is why, in the face of this assault on democracy, it is vital that MPs from across the political divide urgently pull together to prevent Boris Johnson from dragging Scotland and the UK off the cliff edge.

The SNP has consistently worked across party lines to stop Brexit and prevent a no-deal disaster, which we know will cost thousands of jobs and hit people’s livelihoods. That is a price that Scotland must not pay.

It is now clear beyond doubt that the only way to properly protect Scotland’s interests is by becoming an equal and independent European country. It is no wonder that support for independence and a fresh referendum is higher than ever.

Throughout this constitutional crisis, when people from all parties have been working together, there has been one notable absence – the Scottish Tories.

On the day the unelected Tory Prime Minister made clear he is willing to stifle democracy, the Scottish Tories have gone into hiding, posted missing in action.

If the 13 Scottish Tory MPs were serious about opposing a no-deal Brexit, knowing the impact that will have on Scotland’s economy, jobs and livelihoods, they would be engaging with cross-party efforts to prevent such a catastrophic outcome. Their deafening silence makes them every bit as culpable for this mess.

Time is running out. The deadline is fast approaching. I call on MPs to work with the SNP in these crucial times to halt Boris Johnson in his tracks.

This article originally appeared in The Scotsman.