Further details of a looming Holyrood vote against Theresa May’s Brexit deal have been revealed, with MSPs set to declare it would be “damaging for Scotland and the nations and regions of the UK”.
All parties apart from the Conservatives recently teamed up to announce they are putting a joint motion forward for debate at the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday December 5 - less than a week before MPs at Westminster have their say on the Prime Minister’s proposals.
The SNP, Labour, the Greens and Liberal Democrats have now agreed the wording of the single motion up for debate.
It states: “Parliament agrees that both a no-deal outcome and the outcomes arising from the Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration setting out the framework for the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom as presented to the House of Commons by the Prime Minister would be damaging for Scotland and the nations and regions of the UK as a whole and therefore recommends that they be rejected and that a better alternative be taken forward.”
A vote by MSPs against the draft EU Withdrawal Agreement will not stop the deal from going through, but it will become the formal position of the Scottish Parliament.
The debate follows talks between Constitutional Relations Secretary Mike Russell, Labour Brexit spokesman Neil Findlay, Ross Greer from the Greens and Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott.
In a joint statement, the four politicians said: “This debate will give the Scottish Parliament the opportunity to express its overwhelming opposition to both the Prime Minister’s Withdrawal Agreement and a no-deal Brexit, agreeing that a better alternative must be found.”
The Scottish Conservatives’ interim leader Jackson Carlaw has previously said it was “deeply regrettable” the other opposition parties at Holyrood had “chosen to stand shoulder-to-shoulder” with the SNP on the issue.
He said: “These four parties don’t seem to get it. As numerous European leaders have made clear in recent weeks, the alternative to the Prime Minister’s deal is a no-deal scenario.
“It would be devastating for Britain. Yet that is what the SNP, Labour, the Lib Dems and the Greens are risking by opposing the deal on the table.”