Brexit: Ross Thomson says he will back Theresa May's deal

Aberdeen South MP Ross Thomson
Aberdeen South MP Ross Thomson
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The last Scottish Conservative MP opposing the Prime Minister's Brexit deal has said he will vote for it today "with a heavy heart".

Ross Thomson has been one of the toughest critics of Theresa May's deal with Brussels, but with Brexiteers under intense pressure to vote with the government to allow the Withdrawal Agree to pass, and unlock a longer extension to Article 50.

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In a series of posts on Twitter, Mr Thomson wrote: "Twice I have voted against the PM’s deal. Much of it concerns me but in particular the backstop.

"After a lot of thought, wrestling with my conscience and talking to good friends and colleagues I have reluctantly decided to vote for the deal today."

The Aberdeen South MP is seen as a close ally of Boris Johnson, who is tipped to seek the Conservative Party leadership following Mrs May's pledge to stand down ahead of the next stage of talks with Brussels if her deal is approved.

"We will have a new leader and Prime Minister who will have the confidence, nerve and political will to ensure that if we ever did find ourselves in the backstop then there is no way that they will allow the EU to keep a sovereign UK in the backstop against its will," Mr Thomson continued.

"I will never get the changes to the text of the withdrawal agreement that I want, but there are wider political changes that now give me more confidence that we can avoid ever being in the backstop.

"Voting for the deal today means that we can leave on the 12th April and that we will not have to participate in EU elections. It’s clear that there are numbers in Parliament to thwart Brexit, to have endless extension and to take us into a customs Union. Brexit is at risk.

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"I have had to weigh up all of the risks in the current context. Politics is the “art of the possible”. Sometimes decisions aren’t about what is right or what is best but about what you can actually get done. That’s the decision facing MPs and it’s time to face reality.

"That is why I have reluctantly concluded that, with a heavy heart, I have to vote for the Withdrawal Agreement today."