It’s hard to imagine how the UK Government’s Brexit negotiations could possibly get any more shambolic – but lasy week they managed to trash their own Brexit plan, just days after launching it.
In a desperate attempt to cling on to power – and keep the warring factions of the Tory party at bay – Theresa May was forced to accept extreme Brexit amendments from her right-wing backbenchers, to prevent a vote of no confidence in her leadership.
With even more Tory MPs now calling for a vote to remove May as their party leader, UK Government policy is effectively being run by Jacob Rees-Mogg, Boris Johnson and other hard-line Brexiteers, who are holding the Prime Minister to ransom.
👇 Tonight the extreme right of the Tory party are trying to drag the UK towards a hard Brexit and pull Scotland out of the Single Market. SNP MPs will fight for Scotland's place in the Single Market.
— The SNP (@theSNP) July 16, 2018
This chaotic and incompetent Tory Government are making a laughing stock of the the UK and more worryingly than that – they are putting Scottish jobs and prosperity at risk.
We know from the UK Government’s own analysis that leaving the European Union will deal a body blow to the Scottish and UK economy.
A hard Brexit that involves leaving the single market and customs union will be devastating – destroying hundreds of thousands of UK jobs and hitting the incomes, livelihoods and living standards of millions of people for decades to come.
Unbelievably, these damaging hard Brexit plans are being supported by the Scottish Tories and rogue Labour MPs, who backed the amendments and enabled them to pass by a handful of votes.
Let’s be clear, if Scottish Tory and Labour MPs had voted with the SNP, then we would have won comfortably – protecting our place in the customs union, and giving the UK a fighting chance against the huge damage that Brexit will do.
Tonight Ruth Davidson's Scottish Conservatives could have helped to opposed a hard Brexit, not one of them did. And all we needed was three votes. pic.twitter.com/lYxTvMm8B1
— The SNP (@theSNP) July 16, 2018
No one can argue that Scottish Tory MPs were voting in the interests of their constituents. Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, and people across the country will be made poorer and worse off by a UK Government who are determined to drag us out regardless of the impact.
At the last UK general election, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson made a commitment that the 13 Scottish Tory MPs would vote as a bloc to defend Scotland’s interests.
We now know that she was either lying or she has lost control of her own MPs. Either way, the Tories will pay a heavy price at the next election if they continue to ignore the wishes of their constituents.
Time is now running out before a deal needs to be struck with the EU. We have a UK Government with no coherent plan for Brexit, a Prime Minister who is in office but not in power and a fractured Tory party whoa are too busy fighting a war with themselves to even consider protecting the interests of the country.
Hard to confidently disagree with this right now after 48 hours which has seen PM’s total capitulation to the hard Brexiteers (who actually want no-deal outcome) and defeat of a sensible, compromise customs union amendment. https://t.co/R47LSGKh09
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) July 17, 2018
It is now increasingly likely the UK could end up crashing out of the EU with no deal at all – or agree a bad deal that will leave generations of Scottish people paying the price through lost opportunities, jobs, and living standards.
No one voted to make themselves poorer – and we simply cannot allow this UK Government to sacrifice Scottish jobs and prosperity at the altar of their hard Brexit obsession. If the UK Government cannot get their act together and deliver a deal that protects our interests – Scotland, despite voting Remain, will be paying the price.