Ian Blackford told ‘go back to Skye’ by Tory MP

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The SNP leader at Westminster was reportedly told “go back to the Isle of Skye” as he stood to speak at an emergency Commons debate on Brexit.

Ian Blackford was in the chamber for the EU Withdrawal Agreement Debate today when the comment was shouted, with several MPs quickly pointing the finger of blame at veteran Conservative member Sir Nicholas Soames.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford. Picture: PA Wire

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford. Picture: PA Wire

It provoked a furious reaction from senior Nationalists. Catriona Matheson, the party’s head of communications at Westminster, described the incident as “appalling”.

She added: “When will MPs be held to account for their behaviour in the Commons, just as everyone else in the world of work is.”

Sir Nicholas was previously criticised by Nationalists for “woofing” in the direction of former SNP MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh during a Commons debate in January 2017. He later defended the action as a “friendly canine salute”.

Mr Blackford went on to criticise Theresa May’s Government for failing to secure a Brexit deal and contrasted it with assurances Scotland would remain part of the EU if it backed a No vote in 2014.

READ MORE: Would an independent Scotland face a hard border with England?

He said: “We find that we aren’t leaving the UK, we find that the UK is taking us out of the European Union against our will.

“The Scottish National Party won’t sit back and all the people of Scotland to be dragged out of the European Union against its will. Scotland is a European nation, we will remain a European nation.”

He continued: “When we get to the end of that process, if there is an economic threat to jobs and prosperity in Scotland, then it is very clear that the Scottish Parliament has a mandate to call an independence referendum.

“There is a majority in the Scottish Parliament to hold such a referendum. Just a few months ago, this House voted to accept the claim of right for Scotland.

“If the Scottish Parliament comes forward with a request for a Section 30 Authority then this House must allow the people of Scotland to determine their own future.

“Here we have a parliament in London silenced by this government and the devolved administrations silenced and ignored.”