Scottish Parliament could block hard Brexit, warns SNP

Theresa May must drop plans for a hard Brexit, the SNP have warned
Theresa May must drop plans for a hard Brexit, the SNP have warned
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The SNP group leader at Westminster has warned Theresa May to give up her pursuit of a hard Brexit or face the prospect of Holyrood holding back legislation required for the UK to leave the EU.

Ian Blackford said his party wanted to compromise and co-operate with the Westminster Government to secure the best deal for Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Ian Blackford, SNP group leader at Westminster, has warned Theresa May not to pursue a hard Brexit on the day the Prime Minister publishes her flagship repeal bill

Ian Blackford, SNP group leader at Westminster, has warned Theresa May not to pursue a hard Brexit on the day the Prime Minister publishes her flagship repeal bill

Speaking as the Prime Minister publishes her Repeal Bill, the senior Nationalist urged Mrs May to listen to “reasoned voices”.

If a hard Brexit is pursued, he added, the process could be stalled at the Scottish Parliament. The Conservative leader has already indicated a legislative consent motion (LCM) from Holyrood on the bill will be required so Westminster can pass laws on areas normally devolved to Holyrood.

“Theresa May has to take a step back, she is a wounded animal,” said in an interview with The Herald.

“We’re talking about a minority administration that does not have the authority she sought from the people in the UK.

“Our objective is to make sure we can be represented at the table in those negotiations. We can only do that if we have a meaningful debate with the UK Government. That has not yet happened; the clock is ticking.”

Mr Blackford, who replaced Angus Robertson as leader of the third largest grouping of MPs at Westminster last month, added: “If at the end of the day we have an intransigent Government that will not listen to reasoned voices - and if I say so a (Scottish) Government that has a mandate from the people of Scotland - then of course, we will need to look at the options we have. And consent on an LCM is part of that.

“But I don’t want to be in a position where we are threatening anybody, we’re trying to achieve consensus because that’s the right thing to do.”

The Scottish Government’s Brexit minister, Michael Russell, has previously indicated that Holyrood’s consent to granting an LCM was “not a given”.