Scottish Parliament votes for Brexit cancellation
MSPs have backed a call to cancel Brexit in the event that another referendum cannot take place, in a largely symbolic vote.
A motion lodged by Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie stated that the UK should revoke Article 50 in the absence of an extension allowing for a People’s Vote to be held – with the option of remaining in the EU.
MSPs voted by 89 to 28 for Mr Harvie’s motion, with the Scottish Conservatives voting against.
The Holyrood debate was held ahead of MPs voting on eight indicative Brexit votes at Westminster on Wednesday.
Mr Harvie said: “As yet, we don’t know what the result will be tonight from the indicative vote process at Westminster,” he said.
“We can be fairly sure that it won’t result in a simple, sudden clarity, a sort of first-past-the-post, winner takes all, outcome.
“There will still be choices to make. There will still be uncertainty.
“There will still be the threat, the huge threat of social, economic and political damage from any form of Brexit, and there will still be those trying to push the country over the cliff edge to deliberately make this crisis even worse.
“Whether a withdrawal agreement is adopted or not, we must see an extension long enough to put it back to the people and if that doesn’t happen, then we must cancel the crisis, revoke and move on.”
Scottish Labour MSP Neil Findlay described the political situation as a “tragedy”.
He said: “We see a Prime Minister in name only, alone, credibility in tatters.
“The worst holder of that political office since the last holder of that political office.
“Losing vote after vote, minister after minister, every shred of credibility she ever had, making the UK a laughing stock across the world.”
Mr Findlay also reiterated his party’s calls for a general election to be held
“A referendum with a remain option is of course the option we would like to see,” he said.
“For many other reasons – not least the impact of Universal Credit, not least the hostile environment on immigration, or the policies that see poverty and homelessness increase – we also want to see a General Election to bring an end to this disastrous government.”
Scottish Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins meanwhile urged MPs to support Theresa May’s twice-defeated withdrawal agreement in order to respect the result of the 2016 vote and to avoid a no-deal.
“On these benches we believe that referendum results must be respected and delivered, not ignored and overlooked,” said Mr Tomkins.
“When a parliament legislates to hand a question to the people directly, that means that parliament is not looking for an opinion, but asking for a decision.
“Whether we like it or not, the British people voted in June 2016 that the United Kingdom should leave the European Union.”