Exclusive: SNP must take share of responsibility for Brexit vote, says Theresa May
Prime Minister Theresa May - credit: PA
The SNP needs to accept its share of responsibility for the Brexit vote, according to Prime Minister Theresa May.
Writing exclusively for Holyrood and for the first time in any Scottish publication, the Prime Minister suggests the Brexit vote was driven by dissatisfaction with the political establishment, pledging her government will focus on “getting a better deal for people in the UK”.
May said: “The EU referendum also exposed an underlying sense that people felt they have been ignored by politicians, at Westminster and Holyrood, for too long.”
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She added: “That feeling is as strong in Scotland as it is anywhere else in the UK, and after nine years as the establishment party in Scotland, the SNP needs to accept its share of responsibility.”
The PM said the outcome of the UK’s Brexit negotiations will enhance Scotland’s international standing, rather than diminishing it.
In her column she promised the UK Government will listen to suggestions from the Scottish Government as it begins negotiations over leaving the European Union, following the referendum in June.
The PM said: “As we strike that deal, we have an exciting chance to forge a new role in the world. Scotland’s status will not be diminished by that; it will be enhanced.
“We will go out into the world with the aim of being a leader in global free trade, one that makes the most of our advantages, from the financial expertise of Edinburgh to the shipbuilding prowess of the Clyde and the globally-renowned food and drink produce of Scotland’s countryside.”
Following the leave vote May established a ministerial department, responsible for preparing for Brexit, which has been headed by Eurosceptic MP David Davis.
Meanwhile Nicola Sturgeon appointed MSP Michael Russell to represent the Scottish Government in Whitehall as the UK prepares its negotiating position.
She also pays tribute to the party’s success in May’s election, describing Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson as a “real shining light in British politics”.
The Prime Minister's full article will appear in Holyrood magazine on Monday 26 September.