FMQs: Brexit has taken UK to “brink of disaster”

Nicola Sturgeon insisted she won't 'throw in the towel' as she aims to secure Scotland's place in the EU. Picture: Andrew Cowan
Nicola Sturgeon insisted she won't 'throw in the towel' as she aims to secure Scotland's place in the EU. Picture: Andrew Cowan
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Nicola Sturgeon today accused the Tories of bringing the UK to the “brink of disaster” after last week’s Brexit vote.

The First Minister insisted she won’t “throw in the towel” in her determination to maintain Scotland’s place in the EU after the leaders of Spain and France ruled out her hopes of negotiating a stand-alone Scottish deal.

The First Minister told MSPs she had a duty to fight for the democratic will of Scots after the country voted 62% in favour or Remaining in the referendum last week.

And she slammed the Tories today, insisting party infighting had brought about the Brexit vote.

“It is the Conservatives that have recklessly brought this country to the brink of disaster,” she said.

She called on Ruth Davidson to show some “humility” in front of MSPs at Holyrood as the Scots Tory leader called for Ms Sturgeon to play a leading role in the UK’s Brexit negotiations.

“We should be looking to protect what Scotland voted for and until the last few days that was the position of Ruth Davidson,” the SNP leader said.

Ms Sturgeon referred to Ms Davidson’s role in a showpiece referendum debate at Wembley in the days leading up to the vote when the Scots Tory leader extolled the EU single market and importance to the economy.

The First Minister added: “What’s changed in the intervening period? What happened to that spirited defence of EU membership that we saw at Wembley stadium? Why, just a few days later, is Ruth Davidson suggesting that we meekly throw in the towel.

“I’m not going to meekly throw in the towel.”

The First Minister also backed calls for emergency laws to protect the rights of Poles and other European nationals who have made their home in Scotland amid growing uncertainty after the Brexit vote.

She demanded that the UK Government provide public assurances that EU nationals already living in Scotland are in no danger of being forced to leave after the referendum decision last week.

And tax rises were not “off the table”, she warned, as a result of the economic hit facing Scotland as the turmoil continues after the EU vote.

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