IAN BLACKFORD:MP for Ross, Skye & Lochaber

Ian Blackford MP has said Scotland’s voice has been left out of crucial cabinet discussions on Brexit.
Responding to the Prime Minister’s statement today, the SNP Westminster Leader questioned why the Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, was not present when Theresa May gathered her cabinet at Chequers. 
Ian Blackford MP also called on the Prime Minister to finally recognise that staying in the single market and customs union is the least damaging option for jobs.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Ian Blackford MP said:
“It is now over 20 months since the referendum. 
At a time when the UK should be doing the finishing touches on its negotiating position this government is still struggling to find paper upon which to write down its wish list. 
It was nothing short of humiliating for this government last week when the EU presented a draft legal text for withdrawal, the Prime Minister gave a speech extolling empty rhetoric once more. 
No single market and no customs union means there is no solution which would prevent a hard border in Ireland. 
The government’s own analysis has revealed growth would be hit up to 9% in such an extreme scenario. 
Scottish Government analysis revealed Scots could face a loss of £2,300 per person each year in Scotland, with our GDP around £12.7billion lower by 2030.
Last month – as the Prime Minister gathered with her Cabinet at Chequers – there was one glaring absence. 
Where was the Secretary of State for Scotland?
Scotland’s voice was not heard at these crucial cabinet discussions.
There has been flagrant disregard by this government of the nations that make up the UK. 
Mr Speaker, the Scotland Secretary might not have been invited to Chequers, but rest assured, the Members on these benches will be here in this Chamber speaking up for Scotland at every opportunity.
We will settle for nothing less than continued membership of the single market and customs union. 
Scotland voted to stay in the EU, we cannot, we will not be ripped out of the single market and customs union against our will.
We will defend the jobs that the Prime Minister is prepared to trade away. 
We in Scotland must determine our own destiny. 
We are a European nation and intend to stay as one.
Will the Prime Minister finally recognize that staying in the single market and customs union is the least damaging option for jobs.”