SNP Opposition Day Debate - Brexit
Updated: Jul 20
UK HEADING TO BREXIT DISASTER AS TORIES AND LABOUR JOIN FORCES TO BLOCK EXTENSION
SCOTTISH TORIES AND LABOUR MPs VOTE TO CRASH OUT OF EU DURING PANDEMIC
The SNP has warned the UK is "heading towards a Tory Brexit disaster" after Tory and Labour MPs joined forces tonight to block cross-party calls for an extension to the transition period.
A majority of Scotland's MPs backed the motion but Scottish Tory MPs voted against it and Labour MPs abstained - in a move that could see the UK crash out of the EU with a bad deal or no deal in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic and economic crisis.
The opposition day debate follows calls for an extension by the governments of Scotland and Wales, and six opposition parties across the UK - including the SNP, Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru, SDLP, Green Party, and Alliance Party.
Scottish Government analysis has revealed that ending the transition period in 2020 could cut £3billion from the Scottish economy in just two years - on top of the impact of coronavirus.
Polls show the majority of people support an extension to the transition period. A survey by Focaldata found eighty-three per cent (83%) of people in Scotland and seventy-seven per cent (77%) across Britain say the UK government should agree to an extension.
Commenting, SNP Deputy Westminster Leader Kirsten Oswald MP said:
"The UK is heading towards a Tory Brexit disaster - after Tory and Labour MPs joined forces to block a crucial extension to the transition period.
"With time running out it looks increasingly likely that the UK will crash out of the EU with a bad deal or no deal at the worst possible time - in the middle of a global pandemic and unprecedented economic crisis, piling one crisis on top of another.
"Leaving the EU at any point would be deeply damaging for Scotland but it is reckless in the extreme to exit in a health crisis when many businesses are struggling to survive, thousands of jobs are being cut, and our economy will need all the help it can get.
"With Tory Brexit talks stalling and no good deal in sight, it is inevitable that ending the transition period will damage our economy - it is now just a question of how much poorer and worse off we will be.
"Labour will not be forgiven for blocking an extension, and they will share the blame with the Tories for the damage that is done to people's jobs and living standards.
"Scotland has been completely ignored by Westminster throughout the Brexit process and shut out of the trade talks. Whatever happens now it is clearer than ever that the only way to protect our economy and our place in Europe is to become an independent country."
SNP opposition day motion:
"That this House welcomes the European Union’s openness to extend the transition period for negotiations; calls on the UK government to immediately accept this offer and notes the Scottish Government’s publication of 3rd June ‘COVID-19: The Case for Extending the Brexit Transition Period’, warning of the damage a no deal would cause to the economy in addition to the cost of the COVID-19 health crisis"