This Week in Westminster: hell of a no-deal Brexit inches ever closer


SNP MPs stand in solidarity with EU citizens

On Friday, MPs returned to their constituencies to host advice surgeries, visit stakeholders, and consult with the communities they represent in Parliament.

Meeting with EU citizens, hearing their concerns, and reassuring them that their contributions to the Scottish economy and society are hugely appreciated, is an important part of this.

While the xenophobic, dogwhistle Tory rhetoric on migration, combined with the uncertainty of Brexit, is causing a lot of anxiety to EU citizens, SNP MPs resolutely stand up for free movement and the people who chose to make Scotland their home.


Theresa May still caged in her own red lines, while Jeremy Corbyn edged towards supporting the Brexit deal

Last week, the passing of the Brady amendment, which called for ‘alternative arrangements’ to the Irish backstop, paved the way for Theresa May to have another trip to Brussels in an attempt to renegotiate her Brexit deal that suffered a historic defeat in Parliament.

However, she failed to spell out what these ‘alternative arrangements’ are, mainly because they rely on abstract technologies that do not exist.

Theresa May insisted that she can secure a renegotiation of the Brexit deal, just to temporarily satisfy the hardline Brexiteers in her party, but she knows it won’t be possible – the EU has repeatedly refused to reopen the deal, and the backstop is the only guarantee for peace on the island of Ireland.

Meanwhile, Labour edged closer to being the midwives of Brexit, as Jeremy Corbyn wrote to Theresa May suggesting that he might support her deal.

We are abundantly clear: Labour has to stop abdicating its responsibility, admit that Brexit will wreck the economy and jobs across the country, and respect Scotland’s interest. If they facilitate a destructive Tory Brexit, they will never be forgiven.


Ian Blackford slammed the UK government for their dreadful record on pensions, and got a lie from David Lidington as a response

This Tory government is responsible for a sharp rise in pensioner poverty, the injustice for women born in the 1950s who were left short-changed, and the lowest state pension in any developed country.

When Ian Blackford told David Lidington these inconvenient truths, he tried to shamefully deflect blame on the Scottish Government, by claiming that powers over pensions are devolved.

This was a complete lie: pensions are reserved to Westminster, and Ian Blackford did not hold back in setting the record straight.


Stewart McDonald took a lead in campaign to scrap the scourge of unpaid work trials

A year after his Private Members’ Bill was talked out by the Tories using arcane parliamentary procedures, Stewart McDonald continued passionately fighting to outlaw unpaid work trials.

On Tuesday, he lead a Westminster debate which received cross-party support, urging the Tory government to get a grip and ban this unfair practice.

Unfair work trials are an example of exploitation and go fundamentally against the spirit of the Minimum Wage Act.
If the UK government is serious about strengthening workers’ rights, it’s about time it puts money where its mouth is, and ends this injustice once and for all.


Carol Monaghan called out the Tories for failing to commit to Erasmus funding in the event of no-deal

Studying abroad as part of the Erasmus programme is an invaluable experience that thousands of Scottish students benefit from every year.

Carol Monaghan questioned the UK government minister on Erasmus, but he failed to commit to provide Erasmus funding for students in 2019/2020 if there’s a no-deal Brexit, leaving many students unable to make plans for the year ahead.

A no-deal Brexit would rob our young people off opportunities that the previous generation has taken for granted, and it is clear that the calamity of no-deal has to be taken off the table.