Nicola Sturgeon has stepped up her attack on Theresa May’s stance on Brexit and accused the Tories of “economic vandalism” over the impact on Scotland.
The First Minister has again called for Brexit to be delayed so that negotiators have more time to hammer out a deal that keeps the UK in the EU single market.
“The Prime Minister’s current position – that we must leave the single market regardless of the consequences – is an act of wilful economic vandalism,” Ms Sturgeon said in a keynote speech to the Europa Institute in Edinburgh last night. “She is ploughing on with a strategy that she knows will reduce household incomes and cost people their jobs.
“She is doing so because she refuses to change her own interpretation of the referendum result – despite the fact that, whatever people voted for, it clearly wasn’t where we are now.
“Her stance is the one which makes a mockery, not just of the referendum result, but of basic common sense.
“It is time, at this critical hour, for the Prime Minister to finally face up to reality. The truth is she has lost control of her party and is facing mutiny in Birmingham.
“With so little time left to conclude a Brexit deal and with so many jobs and livelihoods at stake, this arrogant self-indulgence by the Conservative Party is unforgiveable.”
Ms Sturgeon has previously called for Brexit, due to happen in March, to be delayed so a deal can be brokered. EU leaders rejected the Prime Ministers Chequers deal during a summit in Austria last month.
“If I had to pick out a glimmer of hope from the fiascos of the last few weeks it would be this – the very fact that the Prime Minister’s negotiating position has been exposed as untenable means that membership of the single market and the customs union must now be a stronger political possibility than at any time in the last two years.”
Ms Sturgeon said. “However, time is running out fast and an extension of Article 50 to avoid the cliff edge that is looming and allow for common sense to prevail is now a necessity.”