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by Alain Tolhurst
29 July 2019
Ruth Davidson to oppose Boris Johnson as she confirms she ‘won’t support’ a no-deal Brexit

Ruth Davidson to oppose Boris Johnson as she confirms she ‘won’t support’ a no-deal Brexit

Ruth Davidson - Image credit: David Anderson/Holyrood

Ruth Davidson has delivered a defiant message to Boris Johnson by saying she “won’t support” a no deal Brexit as Scottish Conservative leader.

Ahead of a meeting with him on his first trip to Scotland as prime minister, Davidson said she “will not be backward in challenging Mr Johnson's government”.

The Scottish Tory leader, who has had a tense relationship with the new PM, was reportedly “livid” when her ally David Mundell was sacked as Scottish secretary this week.

Mundell, who was replaced by Brexiteer Alister Jack, later confirmed Johnson had replaced him because he “wasn’t as on board with a no-deal Brexit as [Johnson] would want me to be”.

In a column for the Scottish Mail on Sunday, Davidson said she wanted to set out her position on Brexit after people “have asked, fairly, where I stand on this new government”.

The MSP, who first backed Sajid Javid, and then Jeremy Hunt, in the Tory leadership contest, wrote that politics was “about more than personalities”.

She added: “But I will work hard, be professional and build constructively on the work that has already gone on to ensure the UK Government delivers for Scotland, in Scotland.”

Davidson wrote: “I hope beyond measure the new prime minister is successful in getting an agreement with the EU so he can go back to the House of Commons and get the majority backing he needs.

“He has my full support in those efforts.

“Where I differ with the UK Government is on the question of a no-deal Brexit.

“When I was debating against the pro-Brexit side in 2016, I don't remember anybody saying we should crash out of the EU with no arrangements in place to help maintain the vital trade that flows uninterrupted between Britain and the European Union.

“I don't think the Government should pursue a no-deal Brexit and, if it comes to it, I won't support it.

“I wrote to tell the former prime minister Theresa May that last year and I confirmed my position to her successor when I spoke to him last week.”

And she added: “As leader of the party in Scotland, my position exists independently of government.

“I don't have to sign a no-deal pledge to continue to serve.”

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