Opposition parties must unite to bring down Boris Johnson

The events of the past seven days could never have been foreseen. In fact, I am almost certain they couldn’t have been imagined even by the cronies inside No 10, who are more interested in playing House of Cards-style games than saving the country from economic oblivion.

This dangerous situation is not a game. We are living through an unprecedented time in politics, where the turbulence of Brexit means the seatbelt sign has to stay on and — unless someone takes control of the wheel — events look set to be increasingly bumpy.

Opposition parties face a decision: join with us in the SNP and take back control, or sit back and hope prime minister Boris Johnson doesn’t allow us to crash out without a deal.

The SNP is not prepared to wait and see. I feel the weight of responsibility on my shoulders, as do my colleagues. We do not believe that Johnson is going to extend article 50 — and we won’t risk time running out.

This past week we witnessed the prime minister slump to the bottom of the chart of decency. After losing a court battle over prorogation, where his government’s action was deemed unlawful, Johnson refused to resign. He is a disgrace.

He sought to silence parliament and derail democracy – so that he and his Vote Leave fan club in Downing Street could railroad us into economic devastation.

It is remarkable that he is still in office. It is an office he is unfit to lead.

The SNP is crystal clear: the prime minister must resign. If he fails to do so, the opposition must unite to bring down this shambolic government and then take responsibility for sending the letter to secure an extension.

Triggering a vote of no confidence can be done in a way that ensures the Benn Act is honoured and that no-deal is taken off the table by allowing the opposition to install an interim leader to take control.

This is not a situation that the SNP — and, I believe, many opposition leaders — want to be in, but we have to act in the interests of citizens across these isles.

While it is clear that the process after a vote of no confidence points to the leader of the opposition seeking to form an alternative government, the SNP has no preference as to who takes charge of a temporary caretaker government.

We would, however, only support a person or party for as short a time as is required to secure the extension and call the election. Every day that Johnson remains in office is increasingly dangerous for the country.

This article originally appeared in The Times.