Theresa May and the extreme Brexiteers in the Tories and DUP have no mandate to speak for Scotland – but think they can dictate our future.
With the UK due to crash out of the EU next Friday, the Tory leader is planning to bring her damaging Brexit deal back to the Commons for a third time – even though it has been rejected in two of the biggest defeats for any UK government in history.
May and her shambolic government are arrogantly staggering on, acting as though nothing has changed, and dragging us all closer to the Brexit disaster.
Desperate, and reckless, May is betting that by giving the extreme Brexiteers whatever they want – she can bribe, blackmail and arm-twist her way to securing just enough votes to force her deal through Parliament this week.
Although the overwhelming majority of MPs know May’s deal is a bad deal, there is still a risk that enough Tory and DUP MPs could be persuaded to vote for it, in exchange for money and influence.
Over the weekend, there have been reports the UK government is planning to give the DUP yet another Brexit bung.
This could mean £1billion more of taxpayers’ money being handed over to Northern Ireland just to keep the DUP on side, on top of the £1.14billion already agreed.
The Tory government has yet to give Scotland a single penny of the £3.4billion we are owed, under the Barnett formula, for the additional money handed over. Few would be surprised if the Tories tried to short-change Scotland again.
— The SNP (@theSNP) March 14, 2019
Even more worrying are reports of the UK Government planning to offer the DUP “deep involvement” in the UK’s trade talks with the EU. This effectively means giving the 10 DUP MPs a seat at the table, as the price for their votes.
The truth is, the DUP have been given more influence over Scotland’s future than the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish people. Let that sink in.
Throughout Brexit, Scotland’s wishes have been ignored by Westminster. We voted to remain in the EU but are being dragged out against our will.
We want to stay in the world’s largest single market but our membership is being terminated without our say.
We want to protect the benefits and rights we enjoy as an EU member but they’re being stripped away.
If May’s Brexit deal is brought back to Parliament this week, SNP MPs will again vote against it. As is now clear, there is no such thing as a good Brexit, and May’s deal would hit jobs, living standards, our public services and the economy.
But Scotland’s interests are of little concern to Westminster – and May’s Brexit deal may yet be imposed on us. Brexit has shown the price we pay when decisions about our future are not made by us.
Today, I’ll meet the leaders of the other opposition parties at Westminster to discuss the way forward on Brexit.
On Monday, opposition parties will meet to discuss the way forward from the Brexit crisis. With so much at stake, we must do everything we can to protect people's jobs and living standards – and put the decision back to the people in a second EU referendum. #Brexit #PeoplesVote pic.twitter.com/ydI68ZTR6b
— Ian Blackford (@IanBlackfordMP) March 15, 2019
I still hope we can put the decision back to the people with Remain on the ballot paper.
Scotland’s future must not be left in the hands of the extreme Brexiteers in the Tories and the DUP. We voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU and we shouldn’t be dragged out against our will.
The people of Scotland deserve the chance to choose our future. We can do so much better than this and, one way or another, that choice will be ours to make.
This article originally appeared in the Daily Record.