IAN BLACKFORD:MP for Ross, Skye & Lochaber

SCOTTISH SECRETARY SHUNNED FROM BREXIT WAR CABINET

The SNP’s Westminster leader, Ian Blackford MP, has criticised David Mundell’s “deafening silence” over the UK government’s leaked Brexit papers – warning that the Scottish Secretary has questions to answer over his knowledge of the analysis which shows that a no-deal scenario could hit Scotland’s GDP by around 9%.

Writing to David Mundell, Ian Blackford MP called on the Scottish Secretary to heed the “grim” analysis from his own government, and to press for Scotland’s continued place in the Single Market and Customs Union.

Questions have also arisen over David Mundell’s conduct following evidence given to a Holyrood Committee just a matter of months ago, where Mr Mundell stated that there ‘is not a Scotland-specific analysis’ – which has proven to be false.

It follows his pledge after the EU referendum, when Mr Mundell said he would “ensure that Scotland gets the best possible deal and that deal clearly involves being part of the Single Market”.

Ian Blackford MP added that Mr Mundell must now come clean, and step up to the mark to protect Scotland’s interests, or risk losing further credibility and authority within Whitehall, after being shunned from Theresa May’s Brexit ‘war cabinet.’

The UK government’s leaked papers reveal that Brexit could hit Scottish growth by 9% under a no deal scenario, 6% with a free trade deal and 2.5% with continued membership of the Single Market – similar to independent analysis published earlier by the Scottish Government.

Ian Blackford MP said:

“It is completely unprecedented that the UK government is deliberately pursuing a policy which its own analysis warns will have catastrophic consequences on the UK economy.

“David Mundell’s silence has been deafening in the face of such grim analysis, and there are questions to answer for the Scottish Secretary when he denied there was Scotland-specific analysis – which we now know to be false.

“Was he aware an analysis of Brexit impact on Scotland was being, or had been, prepared?  And if not, why not?

“David Mundell is fast losing credibility and authority when it comes to standing up for Scotland, given he has now also been shunned from Theresa May’s Brexit ‘war cabinet’- as well as his promise to bring forward amendments to the EU Bill, which he failed to do.

“Just after the EU referendum, David Mundell pledged to protect Scotland’s interests and to get the best deal for Scotland – which in his words – ‘involves being part of the Single Market’. It’s time he stood by his words, and delivered on his promise to the people of Scotland.

“The Tory government can no longer get away with a policy of secrecy and side-lining. Theresa May must publish the Brexit analysis in full, they must also seriously engage with the devolved administrations that they have thus far kept in the dark.

“Far from the cries of ‘scaremongering’ from the Tory party, the UK government’s own Brexit analysis almost mirrors the Scottish Government’s analysis published last month, that there is no plausible Brexit scenario based on existing EU arrangements, that does not leave Scotland and the UK worse off.

“The leak simply underlines the importance of remaining in the Single Market and Customs Union in order to minimise the economic and social harm that the UK government is pushing the UK ever closer towards.”

ENDS