SNP warns Brexit could force out Boris Johnson as prime minister

The SNP has said that Boris Johnson could be the shortest serving prime minister of the UK in history if he railroads ahead with his plans of inflicting a “do or die” Brexit outcome that will result in lasting economic and social harm.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA

This would see him achieve the unwanted record of becoming the prime minister who has served for the total shortest period in office – a record currently held by George Canning, who lasted 119 days in the role from 12 April 1827 to 8 August 1827 before his untimely death at the age of 57.

Johnson would see his first 99 days in office take him up to 31 October – the date he has committed to take the UK out of the EU with or without a deal.

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With the former foreign secretary looking set to succeed Theresa May this week, Ian Blackford MP warned that the SNP would not sit idly by as Johnson disregards democracy and continues to sideline Scotland’s voice and interests through the Brexit process.

The SNP’s Westminster leader also called on MPs from across Westminster to work with the SNP to ensure that Johnson’s “nightmare” plans to drag the UK out of the EU do not become reality – calling for every option to be on the table.

The warnings follow on from a vote in parliament last week where MPs voted by a substantial majority to stop the next prime minister pushing through a no-deal Brexit by shutting down parliament.

The SNP has also raised serious concerns over an undemocratic Tory coronation whereby a few thousand Tory activists would choose the UK’s next prime minister, rather than the public.

Pete Wishart, the SNP’s shadow leader of the House, introduced a bill in Westminster last week that would require a parliamentary vote on any future prime minister.

The Prime Minister (Nomination) and Cabinet (Appointment) Bill would mean MPs would nominate the prime minister and approve appointments to the Cabinet in a similar way to how MSPs approve the first minister and cabinet minister roles at Holyrood.

Blackford said: “If Boris Johnson continues down the road with his ‘do or die’ Brexit plan then his only legacy could be as the UK’s shortest serving prime minister in history.

“The SNP will not sit idly by as the failed former foreign secretary railroads ahead with imposing a devastating Brexit upon Scotland against our will – and every option must be on the table to stop this government in its tracks.

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“Last week, parliament took control and voted by a strong majority to block the next Tory prime minister from shutting down parliament and forcing through a no-deal Brexit. However, the threat does not disappear there, and I call on MPs from across Westminster to back the SNP’s efforts to ensure that Boris Johnson’s nightmare Brexit plans do not become a reality.

“We know that there is no such thing as a good Brexit and any outcome of leaving the EU will leave us poorer and worse off.

“While his tenure may be short-lived, it must also not be the case that the next prime minister is installed by a few thousand Tory activists – without parliament, or the 66 million people who live across Scotland and the UK, having any say whatsoever. That would show a complete disregard for democracy.

“People in Scotland are looking on in horror at the decisions being imposed upon Scotland without our say and with our voices repeatedly ignored.

“It’s no wonder then that support for independence is rising, and a majority now support a fresh referendum on Scotland’s future.

“It is clearer than ever that the only way to properly protect Scotland’s interests is by becoming an equal and independent European country.”