Brexit deal is great news for Scotland – Alister Jack
Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal is great news for Scotland and the rest of the UK, Alister Jack has said.
Speaking after the PM announced a new agreement had been reached with the EU, the Scottish Secretary urged Scottish MPs to back the deal when it goes to a vote at Westminster.
But Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has already ruled out the possibility of SNP MPs voting for Brexit “in any form”.
Mr Jack said: “The deal the Prime Minister has negotiated with the EU is great news for Scotland and the whole of the UK.
“This deal allows us to get Brexit sorted, and leave the EU in two weeks’ time as one United Kingdom.
“It is a real Brexit which ensures we take back control. For Scottish fishermen, this means taking back control of our fishing waters and freeing them from the hated Common Fisheries Policy.
“For Scotland’s farmers, we will create a new system of support to help them prosper outside of the Common Agricultural Policy.
“We will no longer be bound by EU laws, and the Scottish Parliament will receive a raft of new powers as they return to the UK from Brussels.
“We will be able to strike our own trade deals around the world, opening up huge opportunities for businesses across Scotland.
“It is now time for Scottish MPs from all parties to vote for the Prime Minister’s deal and deliver the result of the referendum.
“It is time to put the national interest above political opportunism. If MPs do not vote for a deal then they are voting for no-deal, and will have to explain that to their constituents.”
Ms Sturgeon said, however, that it would be “democratically unacceptable” for Scotland to be facing an outcome it did not vote for.
She said it is now “clearer than ever” that the best future for Scotland is as an independent, European nation.
Ms Sturgeon said: “While there remains uncertainty over whether this proposed deal will pass, what is absolutely clear is that it would take Scotland out of the European Union, out of the single market and out of the customs union, against the overwhelming democratic will of the people of Scotland.
“Scotland did not vote for Brexit in any form, and SNP MPs will not vote for Brexit in any form – especially when it is clear that Scotland, alone of the nations of the UK, is being treated unfairly.
“We support efforts to ensure peace and stability on the island of Ireland, in line with the Good Friday Agreement, which must be respected.
“At the same time, it cannot be right that Scotland alone is facing an outcome it did not vote for – that is democratically unacceptable and makes a mockery of claims that the UK is in any way a partnership of equals.
“The Brexit envisaged by Boris Johnson is one which sees a much looser relationship with the EU when it comes to issues like food standards, environmental protections and workers’ rights.
“That is not the future that I or my Government envisage for Scotland.
“And in the circumstances which now prevail, it is clearer than ever that the best future for Scotland is one as an equal, independent European nation. That is a choice I am determined to ensure is given to the people of Scotland.”
Announcing the deal on Twitter, Mr Johnson said: “We will leave the EU’s Customs Union as one United Kingdom and be able to strike trade deals all around the world.
“This new deal ensures that we #TakeBackControl of our laws, borders, money and trade without disruption & establishes a new relationship with the EU based on free trade and friendly cooperation.
“This is a deal which allows us to get Brexit done and leave the EU in two weeks’ time, so we can then focus on the people’s priorities and bring the country back together again.
“This new deal takes back control. Under the previous negotiation, Brussels maintained ultimate control and could have forced Britain to accept EU laws and taxes for ever.
“We will leave the EU’s Customs Union as one United Kingdom and be able to strike trade deals all around the world.”