MSPs vote to reject no-deal Brexit

Written by Jenni Davidson on 5 September 2019 in News

Four of the five parties backed a Scottish Government motion opposing a no-deal Brexit

Scottish Parliament - Image credit: Holyrood

MSPs in the Scottish Parliament have voted to reject a no-deal Brexit.

Following a debate on Thursday afternoon, Labour, the Greens and the Lib Dems supported a Scottish Government motion that the UK should in “no circumstances” leave the EU on a no-deal basis.

The motion also condemned the Prime Minister’s suspension of the UK Parliament.

A Conservative amendment stating that MSPs should “respect the result of the 2016 EU referendum” and support the UK Government to reach a deal, with a “negotiated exit” the best way to deliver on that, was voted down.

Gillian Martin MSP said: “Today the Scottish Parliament had its say on Boris Johnson’s undemocratic and increasingly dictatorial plans for a no-deal Brexit.

“We rejected outright the damage that will do to all of Scotland – people’s livelihoods, living standards and our economy.

“And we rejected Boris Johnson’s attempts to subvert the democratic process by suspending the UK parliament.

“But one party stood out for all the wrong reasons today. The Scottish Tories were left completely isolated – showing they’re fully signed up to Boris Johnson’s disastrous no deal.

“That follows the move by their Scottish Tory MP counterparts to support Johnson’s bid to ram through a no-deal outcome – something they may very soon have to try and justify to their constituents.

“With a general election on the horizon, voters will remember the Scottish Tories putting their party ahead of Scotland’s interests.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: “The Scottish Parliament is clear that a no-deal Brexit will be bad for Scotland and its economy.

“Every remaining Scottish Conservative MP and MSP has put their party interest ahead of the national interest.

“They’re out of step with the country. The tide has turned and more and more people are recognising that any Brexit will be bad.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats will continue to campaign for Scotland at the heart of the UK and the UK at the heart of Europe.”

And Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer said the plans to prorogue parliament to force through a damaging no-deal Brexit were “an affront to democracy”.

Speaking to MSPs, Ross Greer said: “The decision to suspend the Westminster parliament in an attempt to force a no-deal Brexit is an affront to democracy.

“And we now know this was being planned for weeks. This is the behaviour of authoritarians, not democrats.

“And it has shown the British constitution wildly unfit for purpose.

“In what normal democracy can an unelected monarch suspend an elected parliament on the request of a government without majority support?

“Though I have to take my hat off to the Brexiteers – by the time this ends, they might have destroyed the principle of parliamentary sovereignty, popular support for the monarchy and the union itself.”

But following First Minister’s Questions interim Scottish Conservative leader Jackson Carlaw suggested the First Minister did not really want the UK Government to get a deal.

He said: “Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t want to see successful negotiations between the UK and the EU – she wants to weaken the UK Government’s hand and for the talks to fail.

“The last thing the SNP wants is for Scotland to move on and – together with the rest of the UK – secure a Brexit that works for everyone.

“She wants to drag the process out, and plunge Scotland back into the divisions of recent years.

“The Scottish Conservatives will stand up for and stand by our decision to remain within the UK, and back the decision made to leave the EU.”

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