SNP partly responsible for Brexit, claims Theresa May

Prime Minister Theresa May has claimed that the SNP must take partial responsibility for the Brexit vote '“ despite most Scots voting Remain after Nicola Sturgeon campaigned for this outcome.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon meets Prime Minister Theresa May at Bute House. Picture: TSPL

The Tory leader has insisted that the Nationalists’ nine years in power at Holyrood had made them part of the “establishment” which UK voters rejected.

But the claims were branded “beyond parody” by the SNP last night.

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In Scotland, 62 per cent of voters opted to stay in the UK, but the weight of votes south of the border delivered a majority for leaving the EU.

Sturgeon has seized on the outcome to warn that she may push for a second independence referendum in Scotland in order to safeguard Scotland’s place in the EU. But the Prime Minister suggested that Sturgeon may have been part of the problem.

“The EU referendum also exposed an underlying sense that people felt they have been ignored by politicians, at Westminster and Holyrood, for too long,” May writes in an article for Holyrood magazine. “That feeling is as strong in Scotland as it is anywhere else in the UK, and after nine years as the establishment party in Scotland, the SNP needs to accept its share of responsibility.”

Sturgeon last week criticised May’s lack of clarity in dealing with Brexit. The Scottish Government has demanded to be involved in the UK’s Brexit negotiations and the Prime Minister insists she will take on board input from Scottish ministers.

A spokesman for the SNP said: “The Tory attempts to deflect from the mess they’re making of Brexit are beyond parody. Theresa May and her party should spend less time asking the SNP to clean up the Tories’ mess and more time explaining what Brexit will actually mean. Scotland faces being dragged out of Europe, despite every part of the country voting to remain, by a Tory government with one MP out of 59 north of the border – so we will take absolutely no lectures from Theresa May.”