This Week in Westminster: Brexit clock ticks, the meltdown continues


Theresa May’s desperation reached new heights with a £1.6bn Brexit bribe for English towns

Theresa May offered a cynical last-minute £1.6bn bribe for poorer towns, exclusively in England, in an attempt to persuade wavering Labour MPs to back her Brexit deal.

This was pork barrel politics at its worst. Labour MPs must not be bought off by giving support to a damaging Tory Brexit deal, which would devastate jobs, living standards and the economy.

The UK Government has serious questions to answer over failing to include any mention of additional funding to Scotland.


Chris Grayling was put on the spot by SNP MPs in emergency debate over ferry fiasco

Beleaguered UK transport secretary, Chris Grayling, was dragged kicking and screaming to the House of Commons for an emergency debate, to answer questions on his shambolic handling of a no-deal Brexit ferry contract.

In his preparations for a no-deal, Chris Grayling gave a contract to a ferry company with no ferries, failed to conduct appropriate risk assessments, and a few weeks earlier, couldn’t even organise a traffic jam on the road to Dover.

If that wasn’t enough, this week it was revealed that the UK Government paid £33million of taxpayers’ money for the mess of its own making, as it was forced to settle the legal action with Eurotunnel over contracts.

Alan Brown secured an emergency debate and together with Joanna Cherry, have been leading the public scrutiny of Chris Grayling and his startling incompetence.


SNP MPs took centre stage at PMQs, standing up for EU citizens and asserting Scotland’s mandate for independence

Ian Blackford raised the heartbreaking story of Tove Macdonald, who moved to Scotland 59 years ago, and is now being forced to apply to stay in her own home, under the UK Government’s settled status scheme.

SNP pressure in Parliament, in cooperation with others, lead the UK Government to drop its ridiculous £65 fee for EU nationals to secure their right to stay in their homes due to Brexit.

However, the fact that the Tories are forcing EU citizens to apply is a damning indictment of their attitude towards immigration – treating them as bargaining chips and statistics, rather than human beings.

We have been at the forefront of standing up for EU citizens’ rights and making it clear that they will always be welcome in Scotland. EU nationals are our friends, neighbours, colleagues and family members – they have contributed so much to Scotland and should not have to go through this because of Tory recklessness and incompetence.


Tory Brexit chaos continued, backstop talks on the verge of collapse

Theresa May’s nebulous pursuit of renegotiating the Brexit deal, despite the EU insisting that this is not possible, has the sole purpose of running down the clock and pandering to the fantasies of hard-right Brexiteers.

Theresa May and her ministers consistently faced bitter rejections in Brussels, and became the laughing stock across Europe. Instead of adopting a more constructive approach and at least attempting to listen to Scotland’s interests, she always put the survival of her party first.

As the Brexit meaningful vote approaches next week, it is clearer than ever that Theresa May’s deal must be rejected. It will cause enormous damage to Scotland’s jobs, communities and the economy, and we will not allow that.