Labour will “never be forgiven” if Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal passes thanks to the votes of opposition MPs, the SNP has claimed as it attacked the special Brexit terms extended to Northern Ireland under the agreement.
The SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford claimed the government was “shafting Scotland” by effectively keeping Northern Ireland under EU customs union and single market rules - something the Scottish Government proposed as a compromise Brexit deal for the whole UK.
And with a number of Labour MPs signalling that they could back the deal, giving the Prime Minister vital numbers ahead of tomorrow’s knife-edge vote, Mr Backford’s deputy Kirsty Blackman said Labour must “stop the excuses and finally act”.
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“If Labour MPs vote for Boris Johnson’s appalling Tory deal and facilitate Brexit they will never be forgiven in Scotland,” Ms Blackman said.
“Jeremy Corbyn must guarantee that all Labour MPs will vote with the SNP against this deal, which would be devastating for Scotland – ripping us out of the EU, single market and customs union against our will, terminating our freedom of movement rights, and threatening jobs, living standards, public services and the economy.”
The SNP is putting forward an amendment tomorrow to reject the Brexit deal. Ms Blackman added: “The opposition must stop the excuses and finally act by backing the SNP amendment to reject this damaging deal, secure an extension and call an election, so we can bring this Tory government down and stop Brexit.”
Speaking to the BBC, Mr Blackford said that if the deal is passed, opposition parties must seek to oust Mr Johnson through a vote of no confidence next week.
“If this deal goes through, we will be saying to the opposition parties that we have to come together, we have to remove Boris Johnson’s government from office, and we have to move to an early general election,” he said.
“There’s an important point here. Obviously we appreciate the unique circumstances in Northern Ireland. Everyone wants to see the continuation of peace and security.
“But Northern Ireland in effect is being kept in the single market and customs union. That was our compromise position, and the UK Government has completely ignored us.
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“The UK Government is shafting Scotland.”
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab denied that Northern Ireland was being cut out of the UK economy by Mr Johnson’s Brexit agreement - but admitted the region’s “frictionless access” to the single market was what made it a “cracking deal”.
“Overall, what Northern Ireland businesses get is remaining part of the UK customs territory, no infrastructure at the border with the Republic and frictionless access to the single market,” he told the Today programme. “It is a cracking deal for Northern Ireland businesses.”