IAN BLACKFORD:MP for Ross, Skye & Lochaber

NO ‘WESTMINSTER POWER GRAB’ AS MPs GATHER FOR NEW SESSION
 
PROTECTING SCOTLAND’S INTERESTS AND PLACE IN SINGLE MARKET ‘MOST IMPORTANT THINGS’ 
 
SNP Leader at Westminster Ian Blackford MP has said that as MPs return to Westminster this week – protecting Scotland’s place in the single market and ensuring there is no Westminster ‘power grab’ over devolved powers will be the ‘most important things for Scottish MPs’ as the Tory Brexit mess appears to deepen day by day.
 
This follows reports at the weekend that the Tories are descending into a deep panic about ‘rebels’ in the parliamentary party who see the UK government stumbling in their negotiations and a Labour party now suggesting it may be moving position on the single market – although possibly only for a transitional period.
 
Ian Blackford’s comments come as the parliamentary arithmetic after the election in June has changed and Theresa May has no majority for her hard right – hard Brexit.
 
Ian Blackford MP commented:
 
”Westminster is now a parliament of minorities – there is simply no mandate for the kind of hard extreme Brexit still being pursued by the Tories. I see opportunities in the session about to start for like minded people to seek to protect the interests of the people of Scotland as well as the people of the rest of the UK.
 
”It is essential that all Scottish MPs work together to ensure that there must not be any detriment to  Holyrood and the other devolved administrations, as the Tories still seem set to attempt a power grab in areas such as agriculture, fisheries and the environment. Opposing this – and protecting Scotland’s place in the single market will be the most important things for Scottish MPs of all parties to pursue. Labour need to commit to permanent membership of the single market instead of their half-hearted transitional plans and ditch their longer term backing for an extreme Tory Brexit.
 
”Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in Europe – and that has to be respected – as is the right of the people of England and Wales who voted to leave. 
 
“But nobody was asked specifically if the UK should remove itself from the single market and the customs union. If we can start to have an informed debate – then I believe that  we can defy the hardliners and win hearts and minds.”

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New Statesman article by Ian Blackford

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