SNP accuse Theresa May of increasing business uncertainty over Brexit

The SNP's Westminster leader Ian Blackford
The SNP's Westminster leader Ian Blackford
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Theresa May has done “nothing but increase uncertainty” for business over Brexit, the SNP has said as it warned companies have been “left in the dark”.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford also said the Prime Minister believes 186,000 car manufacturing jobs are “disposable to her” as he raised concerns from the industry.

But Mrs May took aim at the SNP for abstaining on the Heathrow Airport expansion vote before later telling Mr Blackford to listen to Scottish businesses in their desire for Scotland to remain in the UK.

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Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Blackford said: “Airbus, Honda, BMW, the CBI, the TUC, the Society of Motor Manufacturers, this Government has completely failed to listen to business, has insulted the business community and left companies in the dark.

“Can the Prime Minister tell the House why 186,000 car manufacturing jobs are disposable to her?”

Mrs May said the Government has been “consistently listening” to business throughout the negotiations, adding: “If he thinks trade and business is so important, why didn’t he support Heathrow expansion?”

Mr Blackford countered by claiming investment in Britain is being lost by a Government which “refuses to listen”.

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He said the Scottish Government last year presented a plan for the UK to remain in the single market and customs union in order to provide “certainty” for business, while First Minister Nicola Sturgeon took a trade delegation to Berlin this week.

Mr Blackford went on: “Every step of the way the Scottish Government has been seeking to protect jobs and our economic interest.

“Two years on from the EU referendum, and with the clock ticking down, the Prime Minister has done nothing but increase uncertainty.

“Has the Prime Minister completed any economic analysis on the jobs and the economy of the UK staying in the single market and customs, and if not, why not?”

Mrs May said the UK remained the preferred country in Europe for foreign direct investment last year, adding: “If he wants to listen to business though he should listen to Scottish business, because their message is very clear: Stay in the United Kingdom.”