Theresa May has consistently ignored Scotland – and it’s about to get worse

The Tories’ attitude towards Scotland, especially in the three years since the Brexit vote, has torn any pretence of the Union as a “partnership of equals” into shreds.

As Theresa May arrives in Scotland for another flying visit, here’s a reminder of Theresa May’s high-handed, arrogant and dismissive behaviour.

Scotland’s voice on EU membership – ignored.

In June 2016, Scotland voted decisively in favour of our EU membership, with every one of the 32 council areas voting Remain.

In September 2016, Theresa May promised to agree a UK-wide approach to Brexit before Article 50 is triggered, but on 29 March 2017, she broke that promise by triggering Article 50 without any meaningful consultation with Scotland.

Since then, Westminster has ignored the will of Scotland’s people and the Scottish Parliament at every turn.  

Scottish Government’s compromise proposals – sidelined.

The overwhelming majority of the Scottish Parliament has voted for Scotland’s place in the Single Market and Customs Union to be protected – as spelled out in the detailed compromise proposals published by the Scottish Government just months after the 2016 referendum.

On the same day, Theresa May completely dismissed these proposals and ruled out membership of the Single Market and the Customs Union.

Without a plan, without a direction, and with the Tory party in open civil war, Theresa May ignored the only comprehensive plan available, and set the Brexit clock in motion – bucking under the pressure of Brexit extremists on her benches.

Scottish Parliament’s votes – ignored.

On 15 May 2018, all parties in the Scottish Parliament – except the Tories – voted to refuse legislative consent for the EU Withdrawal Bill.  

However, having broken a major constitutional convention, the UK government had zero regard for Scotland’s voice.

The EU Withdrawal Bill was railroaded through Westminster on 20 June 2018, while Theresa May still had no clear plan for how to negotiate Brexit.

The Bill also made a grab for Holyrood’s powers, with the devolution sections debated in just 15 minutes.

Scotland’s fishing communities – sold out.

Theresa May has set up Scotland’s fishermen as a bargaining chip for the UK government in its negotiations on Brexit.

Following the long history of Tory Prime Ministers selling out the interests of Scotland’s fishing communities, Theresa May has treated them as “expendable” and broke the promise of restoring full control for fishermen.

Ruth Davidson’s 13 Scottish Tory MPs claimed they wouldn’t vote for any deal that didn’t restore “complete sovereignty” of Scotland’s waters – however, when it came to voting, most of them fell meekly into the Westminster line.

Scotland’s economic interests – ignored.

Theresa May has repeatedly tried to dismiss economic analyses, knowing all along about the scale of economic damage caused by Brexit.

The UK government’s own figures laid the facts straight: Theresa May’s Brexit deal would leave each person in Scotland £1,600 worse off compared to the status quo.

Worse still, leadership candidates Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson are recklessly talking up a no-deal, which would slash the UK’s GDP by 10.7% in 15 years, plunging us into recession and costing 100,000 Scottish jobs.

Scotland’s social interests – ignored.

Scotland’s proud internationalist values are under threat from the xenophobic wing that has taken hold of the Tory party.

Brexit would slash our hard-won rights, such as the freedom of movement, robbing us of the right to live, work and study across the European Union – mostly affecting our children and grandchildren’s opportunities, which the previous generations have enjoyed for decades.

What’s more, Scotland’s unique demographic needs are being completely ignored by the extremist Tory plan to cut migration, with dire consequences for our NHS, our universities, and our agricultural and tourism sectors.

The 565-page Brexit deal contains dozens of references to Gibraltar, Northern Ireland, and even the British Antarctic Territory, but not a single mention of Scotland – a clear evidence of the Tories treating with Scotland with nothing but contempt.

And whether it’s Hunt or Boris, it’s only about to get worse

On July 23, either Jeremy Hunt or Boris Johnson will become the next Prime Minister, and both candidates have proven their disdain for Scotland.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, in a petty and disrespectful move, has cut off Foreign Office support to stop the First Minister doing her job in a trip to Brussels.

What’s more, he has confirmed he will ignore the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament, as he pledges to railroad Brexit through – regardless of damage it will cause to Scotland and people’s livelihoods.

And then there’s Boris Johnson.

His reckless tax plans and his embrace of a no-deal Brexit would cause a real hit to Scotland’s economy, while also taking money from Scottish taxpayers’ pockets to fund a £9bn tax cut for the very richest.

He has also come under fire for publishing a racist poem under his watch at The Spectator, which referred to Scots as a “verminous race” that should be “exterminated”.

His dangerous views don’t end there: he has expressed views that a Scot should never be Prime Minister, and that a pound spent in Croydon would be much better than a pound spent in Strathclyde.