Theresa May must take blame for Brexit chaos, says Sturgeon
Theresa May must take responsibility “for the mess that the UK is in” after blaming MPs for the Brexit chaos, Nicola Sturgeon has said.
The Scottish First Minister accused the Prime Minister of failing to listen after the two crushing defeats at Westminster and called for her to “change course now before it is too late”.
Speaking at First Minister’s Questions in the Scottish Parliament, Ms Sturgeon branded Mrs May’s statement from Downing Street on Wednesday “deeply irresponsible” and said she supported revoking Article 50 if there was no progress before the UK is due to leave the EU.
Ms Sturgeon said: “Her comments also failed to accept any of the responsibility she bears for the mess that the UK is in right now.
“She wants to blame everybody except herself and yet I think most people know it was the Prime Minister who triggered Article 50 without a plan.
“It was the Prime Minister who drew self-defeating, contradictory red lines that boxed her in from the start.
“It was the Prime Minister that called an unnecessary general election, who delayed the first vote on her deal in an attempt to run down the clock.
“It was the Prime Minister who failed to listen and change course after the first defeat of her deal and then after the second.
“She must change course now before it is too late and she must bear responsibility for the mess this country is in.”
Responding to the Scottish Greens’ co-convener Patrick Harvie, Ms Sturgeon said that SNP MPs would never vote for Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement, saying it is “a bad deal that will damage Scottish interests”.
She added: “Nor will we accept her framing that it is a choice between her deal and no-deal.
“Just because she’s not willing to contemplate the alternatives, doesn’t mean there aren’t any alternatives.
“One of those alternatives undoubtedly is the revocation of Article 50 and if all else fails by this time next week, that is exactly my view of what MPs should do.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie accused Ms Sturgeon of being inconsistent by believing that leaving the EU will be “chaotic” but Scottish independence will be a “piece of cake” and asked about whether it was right that Mrs May could threaten the “catastrophic consequences” of Brexit.
Ms Sturgeon replied: “It is beyond comprehension that any prime minister could be knowingly allowing the country to be eight days, now about 200 hours, away from that possibility of crashing out of the EU without a deal and requiring that emergency planning work to be done.
“Yesterday, as I have done once a week for several weeks now, I chaired a meeting of the Scottish Government’s resilience committee looking at medicine supplies, food supplies and transport links in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
“It is outrageous that we are having to expend time, energy and resources in doing so. The Prime Minister really must, before any more time passes and before it is too late, change course.
“Take no-deal off the table completely, look at building a broader consensus rather than pandering to the hardliners in her own party and, if necessary, dumping Brexit completely.
“That would be in the best interests of the country.”