David Mundell urges Nicola Sturgeon to listen to business on Brexit deal

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The Scottish Secretary will urge Nicola Sturgeon to listen to Scottish businesses on the Brexit deal, in a speech in London today.

The Scottish Secretary will urge Nicola Sturgeon to listen to Scottish businesses on the Brexit deal, in a speech in London today.

David Mundell. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

David Mundell. Picture: Jane Barlow/PA Wire

David Mundell will say the First Minister has to “stop lecturing and start listening” to businesses north of the Border that back the Prime Minister’s withdrawal agreement as an alternative to a no-deal Brexit. The SNP leader has called on MPs to vote down Theresa May’s deal, citing the economic damage it would cause to Scotland and the rest of the UK, and to also reject a no-deal outcome in favour of an alternative way forward.

In a speech at the Scotland Office, Mr Mundell will say: “Nicola Sturgeon is very good at telling us all what Scotland thinks. It’s funny how it’s always what she thinks. But what she really needs to do is open her ears and hear what Scotland is actually saying.

“If she genuinely wants to represent Scotland’s views, she has to stop lecturing and start listening.

“If she listened, she’d know we have a workable solution. If she listened, she’d understand how little appetite there is for simply prolonging the uncertainty.” Among those who have given support to the Prime Minister’s deal are the Scotch Whisky Association, businessman Sir Ian Wood, BAE Systems and the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation.

Mr Mundell will say the deal is not perfect, but is the best available. He will accuse the First Minister of trying to provoke constitutional turmoil through a no-deal Brexit.

The Scottish secretary will say: “We’ve heard concerns. We’ve faced some difficult questions, but a clear view has also emerged. There is a recognition that there are currently only two options on the table – and that one of them, a no-deal Brexit, would be a disaster for the economy.”