Brexit: Parliament must back second EU referendum, says Ian Blackford

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford. Picture: PA
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford. Picture: PA
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Theresa May must accept her Brexit deal is dead after the Commons voted to reject it for a third time, the SNP leader at Westminster has said.

Ian Blackford insisted that revoking Article 50 or holding a second EU referendum must now be the priorities for Parliament.

“After three resounding defeats, Theresa May must finally accept her damaging deal is dead - and stop acting as a roadblock to progress,” the MP said.

“Parliament must move, either to revoke Article 50 and put a stop to this process or to call a fresh referendum, with the option to Remain. People must get a say on their future - and the SNP will continue to back those efforts.

“We will also continue our discussions around staying in the single market and the customs union, in the event that Brexit cannot be stopped. However our firm preference remains keeping Scotland in the EU.

“Scotland has been ignored throughout the Brexit process. We did not vote for Brexit and we should not be dragged out of the EU against our will. Whatever happens now, it is clear that the only way to properly protect our interests is with independence.”

READ MORE: MPs reject Theresa May’s latest EU withdrawal plan

MPs voted by 344 to 286 against the deal on the day when the UK was due to leave the European Union.

Mrs May said it “should be a matter of profound regret to every member of this House that once again we have been unable to support leaving the European Union in an orderly fashion”.

Meanwhile, Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “Theresa May’s deal is dead and with Parliament in deadlock we simply must have a general election. This country needs fresh leadership and only Labour can provide it.”

But Scottish Secretary David Mundell hit back: “SNP and Labour MPs gloat as the PM’s deal is voted down. And what are their solutions? A General Election, an independence referendum . Yet again politicking and self interest over the national interest.”