Holyrood votes to halt Brexit amid claims Scotland has been ‘ignored’
MSPs voted 89-28 in favour of the move amid claims that the voice of Scots has been ignored in the chaos and turmoil which has engulfed British politics over departure from the EU.
But the Tories opposed the motion at Holyrood last night and accused Nationalists’ of “hypocrisy” for supporting a second EU referendum - while opposing any suggestion of such a “confirmatory” in the event of a future Yes vote on independence.
The motion agreed by MSPs at Holyrood has no impact on the Brexit process beyond it’s symbolic impact, but serves to further underline the fractured state of UK politics over the EU impasse.
The Holyrood debate was taking place two days before the UK was originally scheduled to leave the EU, although this has now been extended.
The Scottish Government's Constitutional Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop told MSPs that 62% of Scots voted in favour of remain in the 2016 referendum, while 38% backed leave, but the weight of votes swung the outcome in favour of Brexit.
“Compromise proposals have been dismissed and the Scottish and Welsh Government’s have been shut out of negotiations.”
Ms Hyslop added: “The unedifying site of the UK Government tearing itself and the country apart in the process of trying to wrench the UK out of the EU has been deeply damaging to the reputation of the UK Government and indeed the UK Government itself at home and abroad.”
The SNP Government wants Scotland to remain in the EU and Nicola Sturgeon will set out plans in the coming weeks to stage a second independence referendum to give Scots an alternative to the chaos of Brexit chaos.
The debate last night was staged by the Scottish Greens. It comes after a recent European Court ruling found that the UK Government has the power to revoke Article 50.
Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said “Europe is our neighbourhood, our community, our family, we don’t want to leave.
“So, of course we were dismayed at the result of the referendum, but what has happened since then has been worse than anyone could have imagined
“The UK Government has treated Scotland abysmally but their treatment of the whole of the UK has been shabby too.”
And he insisted that the UK Government has “not respected the result of the referendum.”
He added: “To respect that result would be to respect that a 52%-48% result is a knife edge and that requires an effort to compromise and build consensus.”
But the Tories rounded on the SNP double standards on its demands for a second referendum, suggesting the Nationalists would never countenance such proposal in the event of a Yes vote for independence.
Tory Infrastructure spokesman Jamie Greene said: “I know for a fact if the tables were turned and we were coming forward with plans to overturn the result of an independence referendum the SNP would be in uproar over our demands to deny the `will of the people.’
“The hypocrisy knows no ends.”
Labour's Neil Findlay also reiterated his party’s calls for a general election to be held
“A referendum with a remain option is of course the option we would like to see,” he said.
Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said: "There is a way to make this torture stop. We can break out of this stalemate by letting the people decide.
"If parliament can’t build a consensus. If leavers can’t build a consensus. The people should decide."