Scotland’s only Labour MP to rebel over Brexit trigger

Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray

Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray

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Scotland’s only Labour MP will rebel against the party whip and vote against legislation to trigger Brexit.

Ian Murray, the Edinburgh South MP, has confirmed he will join a bid tonight to try and block the European Union (notification of withdrawal) bill from progressing.

He said he would support Labour’s amendments to the Article 50 bill, which will seek to force the government to keep tariff-free access to the single market and protect workers’ rights, but will vote against the Brexit trigger even if they are successful.

Mr Murray said: “I represent a constituency where 78 per cent of voters backed Remain, and I will be standing up for them in the Commons by voting against the triggering of Article 50.

“I have signed all Labour’s amendments to the bill so far, and I will support Labour amendments throughout the Brexit process, as Parliament must do everything it can to get the best deal for Scotland and the UK – including safeguarding the rights of EU nationals to remain here.

“But I cannot vote for the extreme hard Brexit that Theresa May is pursuing, which risks damaging the economy of Edinburgh, Scotland and the entire UK. The Tories are threatening to inflict economic vandalism on our country.”

Attempts to block the bill are being led by the SNP, with dozens of Labour rebels expected to join the bid. However, the government is expected to defeat the effort by a wide margin.

Mr Murray added: “The only thing more damaging for our economy than a Tory Brexit is the SNP’s reckless plan for independence.

“If SNP MPs are serious about standing up for Scotland they will tell Nicola Sturgeon to drop her plans for another referendum and tell her to get back to the day job.

“She should be focused on growing our economy and investing in public services, rather than cutting £327 million from local budgets and threatening a second independence referendum.”

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