Brexit: David Mundell branded ‘secretary of state against Scotland’

David Mundell has faced repeated calls for him to support the revocation of Article 50, as one SNP MP claimed it was “time to rename his post the secretary of state against Scotland”.

Cabinet minister Mr Mundell told the Commons during Scotland questions, “I don’t support a no-deal Brexit, but I don’t support revoking Article 50”, as he underlined his backing for Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

SNP MP Tommy Sheppard (Edinburgh East) asked: “Will he still rule out a no-deal Brexit and if the only way to achieve that is to revoke Article 50 will he support that?”

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He added: “I think we can only interpret from that, that there are circumstances in which the Secretary of State for Scotland will consent to a no-deal Brexit and in doing so he stands against the views of the national parliament of Scotland, of Scottish civil society and the overwhelming majority of the British people.

David Mundell.David Mundell.
David Mundell.
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“So isn’t it time now to rename his post the secretary of state against Scotland?”

Mr Mundell replied: “I’m sure that line sounded better in the mirror ... this House has made it very, very clear that it will not accept a no-deal Brexit, what however we are committed to doing is ensuring that we deliver on the referendum and that means leaving with a deal and that’s why I continue to support the Prime Minister’s deal.”

SNP Pete Wishart (Perth and North Perthshire) raised the Revoke Article 50 petition and the prospect of a second independence referendum.

He said: “Surely the Secretary of State agrees at some point the Scottish people are going to have to decide whether they want to go down with this disastrous isolated ugly Brexit Britain or whether they should determine their own way in Europe as an independent nation.”

On revoking Article 50, Mr Mundell replied: “I don’t agree with him that is not implementing the outcome of the referendum. The best way for Scotland and the UK to proceed is to leave the EU with the Prime Minister’s deal.”

SNP deputy Westminster leader Kirsty Blackman (Aberdeen North) said the UK Government’s own modelling showed any Brexit would mean that the people of Scotland would be worse off.

She added: “Will the Secretary of State now do his job, stand up for the people of Scotland and vote against any Brexit?”

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SNP Patrick Grady (Glasgow North) added: “He is supposed to be the Secretary of State for Scotland and Scotland is against Brexit, so when is he going to do his job, stand up for Scotland, stand up to the Prime Minister and stop Scotland being taken out of the EU against its will?”

Mr Mundell replied the issue was an “unwillingness to accept the outcome of the 2014 referendum”.

“We had a UK referendum and the UK as whole voted to leave the EU,” he said.

Shadow secretary of state for Scotland Lesley Laird said Mr Mundell had “even failed to follow through on his own resignation threats”.

She asked: “How bad does it need to get under this Tory Government for the people of Scotland before you do the right thing and actually resign?”