Ian Blackford: Scotland deserves better future than Brexit Britain

SNP MPs will “not ever” support Theresa May’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, Westminster leader Ian Blackford will tell the party’s conference.

He will urge Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn to join them and “rule out any support for the Withdrawal Bill”, saying it would take Scotland and the rest of the UK into “total economic chaos”.

Mr Blackford will argue opposition parties at Westminster need to “come together and do what the people elected us to do – oppose this Tory Government”.

He will make the call as talks continue between Labour and the Conservatives at Westminster to see if a deal can be done whereby Mr Corbyn’s party would help the PM get the Bill through the Commons.

Mr Blackford will use his address to the SNP conference in Edinburgh to say “the people of Scotland deserve the choice of a better future than Brexit Britain”.

He will tell delegates: “Scotland has been completely ignored throughout the Brexit process.

“Westminster is dragging us down the path to economic disaster.

“Let’s be clear – continued Westminster rule is the biggest threat to Scotland’s economy and long-term prosperity – the biggest threat to jobs, incomes and living standards. The biggest threat to our NHS, our public services, and our society.

“Scotland did not vote to leave the EU and we must not be dragged out against our will.

“So I can confirm today that the SNP will not vote for the Withdrawal Agreement Bill when it comes to Westminster.”

Prime Minister visits Lancashire
Mr Blackford will say Prime Minister Theresa May is ‘frozen in a failure of her own making’ (Peter Byrne/PA)

Mr Blackford will make clear: “We will not, not ever, support this damaging blindfold Brexit deal.

“Theresa May has failed to protect our economy, our communities and all of our futures.

“The Prime Minister is frozen in a failure of her own making. Humiliated and hamstrung by the extreme-right Brexiteers in her own party. Her time is up.”

He will urge Labour to adopt the same stance, arguing: “The coalition of the opposition need now to come together and do what the people elected us to do – oppose this Tory Government.”

Mr Blackford will add: “The Tories and Labour need to wake up to reality.

“They face terminal decline in Scotland if they continue to ignore Scotland’s wishes and interests.

“Brexit has created the context of change – significant change where the choice before us is between Brexit and Scotland as an independent European nation.

“It is for all of us to decide. A Scotland locked indefinitely into Brexit Britain or a Scotland free to decide its own future.”

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