MSPs at Holyrood to reject Boris Johnson's Brexit deal

Mike Russell says MSPs have a duty to reject Brexit deal
Mike Russell says MSPs have a duty to reject Brexit deal
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Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal is set to be rejected by MSPs at Holyrood today, as the Scottish Parliament refuses consent for the EU Withdrawal Bill in a vote.

Scotland’s Brexit Secretary Mike Russell warned the deal puts the prospect of a “calamitous” No Deal scenario back on the table and MPs have a duty to reject it after Scots voted against leaving the EU in the 2016 referendum.

“Scotland voted Remain but within the month will be forced to leave, with no say over its future relationship with the European Union," he said.

"Scotland’s views on Brexit have been ignored throughout this process: a demonstration of why we believe Scotland has a right to choose its own future.”

“There is also no doubt that this Bill puts a calamitous ‘no deal’ scenario firmly back on the table.

“Imposing an arbitrary deadline, the end of 2020, to conclude a Free Trade Agreement with the European Union is unrealistic and does nothing but increase the risk of a ‘no deal’ scenario once again.”

The vote is largely symbolic as the Bill is UK legislation which MSPs cannot prevent from progressing at Westminster.

Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie added: “The unspoken reality of course is that the UK Government honestly doesn’t give a damn if MSPs give consent or not.

"They have already shown willingness to legislate in devolved areas without permission, they will clearly do so again with this Bill, and they fully intend to ignore Holyrood whenever it suits them. As a result of Tory interference, Scotland no longer has even the limited devolution settlement we voted for more than 20 years ago.

“This Tory Government has shown that it has nothing but contempt for the people of Scotland, which is one of the reasons more and more people are coming to the conclusion that Scotland’s future must be as an independent country.”