DAVIDSON MUST GUARANTEE TORY MPS WILL VOTE AGAINST NO-DEAL.
BLACKFORD, EMPTY RHETORIC AND ‘PR EXERCISES’ WON’T STOP BREXIT DISASTER.
The SNP has challenged Ruth Davidson to give a “cast-iron guarantee” that Scottish Tory MPs will vote to block a no-deal Brexit when the House of Commons returns from recess.
In a letter today, Ian Blackford MP said the Scottish Tory leader needed to show that her proclaimed opposition to Boris Johnson’s plans to drag Scotland out of the EU “do or die, come what may” by 31st October was not just “empty rhetoric” or a “cynical PR exercise” – designed to stop Tory support collapsing further in Scotland.
The SNP Westminster Leader pointed out that while SNP MPs had consistently voted to prevent a no-deal Brexit, Scottish Tory MPs had voted for it on every occasion – including at least sixteen times this year. The damaging Scottish Tory voting record contradicts reports Ruth Davidson expected them to vote as a bloc to protect Scotland’s interests.
Davidson has repeatedly flip-flopped on Brexit – accepting every decision by Downing Street. First she campaigned for Remain, calling Boris Johnson a liar. Then she was for Brexit but only with single market membership. Then she changed her position again, and was for it but only if there was no differentiation with Northern Ireland – threatening to resign over opposition to the backstop. Then she U-turned once more, and backed Theresa May’s deal despite the backstop. Now she has changed her mind yet again, and appears willing to allow a Boris Johnson Brexit.
Commenting, Ian Blackford MP said:
“Ruth Davidson must give a cast-iron guarantee that Scottish Tory MPs will vote to block a no-deal Brexit – or it will be clear her words are just empty rhetoric.
“Tory plans to drag Scotland out of the EU against our will, “come what may”, would be devastating for Scotland – threatening to cause a recession, destroy 100,000 Scottish jobs and cost every person in the country £2,300 a year.
“Ms Davidson once claimed Scottish Tory MPs would vote as a bloc to protect Scotland’s interests – but nothing could be further from the truth. Every time they have had the chance to prevent a no-deal disaster they have instead voted for it.
“Given all the flip-flops and u-turns Ruth Davidson has performed on Brexit, people are understandably sceptical that her opposition to a no-deal is just another cynical PR exercise – and she will continue to accept whatever form of Brexit is imposed on Scotland.
“The SNP will continue to do everything we can to stop Brexit and prevent a No-Deal disaster. With Scotland being completely ignored by Westminster, it is no wonder that support for independence is growing and a majority now want a fresh referendum.
“People in Scotland deserve the choice of a better future than the Brexit Britain being imposed on us. It’s clearer than ever that the only way to properly protect Scotland’s interests is by becoming an equal and independent European country.”
Letter from Ian Blackford MP to Ruth Davidson MSP (Tuesday 30th July 2019)
I note the comments you made in your Mail on Sunday column on 28th July that you will now join the SNP in opposing Boris Johnson’s reckless plan to drag Scotland out of the EU “do or die, come what may” by 31st October this year.
As you know, Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU by 62% – and polls show support for retaining our EU membership has increased even further since the referendum.
Any form of Brexit would be deeply damaging for Scotland but the Tory government’s threat to impose a No-Deal Brexit against our will would be utterly devastating – threatening to cause a recession, destroy 100,000 Scottish jobs, and cost every person in the country £2,300 a year.
The SNP has consistently opposed a no-deal Brexit at every opportunity since the referendum. The same cannot be said for Scottish Tory MPs – who have repeatedly voted to keep no-deal on the table – despite the catastrophic harm they know it would inflict on their own constituents.
You’ll be aware that some have suggested your opposition to a no-deal Brexit is little more than meaningless empty rhetoric. A cynical PR exercise designed to distance you from Boris Johnson, in the knowledge that the Tory party is tanking in the polls in Scotland and came fourth place in the European elections on just 11%.
Given the large number of flip-flops and u-turns you have performed on Brexit in recent years, people are understandably sceptical that your opposition to a No-Deal Brexit will also amount to nothing more than hollow words, and that in the end you’ll accept whatever form of Brexit is imposed on Scotland by Westminster.
I am therefore asking you to give a cast-iron guarantee that you will instruct all Scottish Tory MPs to vote against and block a no-deal Brexit at every opportunity that arises in the coming months, when the House of Commons returns from recess.
SNP MPs have been working with colleagues across the parties since 2016 to stop a no-deal Brexit, including Plaid Cymru, Green, Lib Dem, Change UK, Labour and rebel Tory MPs. I hope you’ll now join us, and prove that Scottish Tory MPs won’t continue to just rubber-stamp every damaging decision from Downing Street regardless of the cost to Scotland.