Brexit: SNP’s Ian Blackford makes fresh independence threat after latest votes

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SNP Westminster leader has warned that the chances of Scotland becoming independent increased after a series of motions to soften the UK’s departure from the EU were voted down in the House of Commons late last night.

The Skye and Lochaber said that Scotland would ‘determine our own future’ after another round of ‘indicative’ votes in parliament failed to see a consensus emerge.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford. Picture: PA

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford. Picture: PA

SNP MPs backed a motion by Nick Boles, who dramatically resigned the Conservative whip after the votes, that would have seen the UK adopt a Norway style arrangement with the EU.

READ MORE: Analysis: Why the SNP did a handbrake u-turn on customs union

Boles’ motion had been modified to address concerns by the SNP about a UK-wide immigration policy that it is feared would potentially damage Scotland’s economy.

Those concerns led the party to abstain on a motion by Tory veteran Ken Clarke that would have sought to force the Government to seek a UK-wide customs union with the EU.

That motion was ultimately defeated by just three votes.

A proposal for a second referendum was defeated by 12 votes.

READ MORE: Letters: SNP endorse ‘hard independence’

Prime Minister Theresa May has hinted that she may yet bring back her deal for a fourth time in a bid to avoid the UK leaving without a deal on April 12, which is now the default option.

Ian Blackford said: “It would indeed be an outrage if the Government sought to bring back its deal.

“It really is about time that the Government accepted reality. That the deal the Government put forward has been defeated three times with the largest defeat in parliamentary history.

“I acknowledge I am disappointed that tonight we have not won with revoke, with a people’s vote or a customs union.”

Mr Blackford noted that a “vast majority” of MPs from Scotland had voted to revoke Article 50, had backed a second referendum, and to remain part of the single market and customs union.

He said: “It is crystal clear to us in Scotland that our votes in this house are disrespected. It is becoming increasingly clear to the people of Scotland that if we want to secure our future as a European nation, then we are going to have to take our own responsibilities.

“The case is this; sovereignty rests with the people of Scotland, not with this house. The day is coming where we will determine our own future and it will be as an independent country.”