POLITICS

SNP MP Calls For Cross-Party Alliance To Defeat Hard Brexit

'Scotland’s new MPs have a historic opportunity to make our mark.'

10/08/2017 11:45 BST | Updated 10/08/2017 11:49 BST

The SNP’s Europe spokesman has appealed to other parties in remain-voting Scotland to block hard Brexit in Westminster. 

Stephen Gethins has called on Scotland’s 13 Tory and seven Labour MPs to join the SNP’s 35 MPs in a Commons bid to keep the UK in the single market. 

He said if Scottish MPs were to form an alliance and UK Labour MPs switched to back single market membership, the Government, which is reliant on a Tory-DUP majority of six, could be defeated.

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The SNP's Europe spokesman Stephen Gethins has called on Scottish MPs to back remaining in the single market

Gethins told the Herald that Scotland’s new MPs “have a historic opportunity to make our mark”.

The North East Fife MP said: “Scottish parliamentarians can have a particular role to play in helping bring Westminster together.

“Scotland’s new Conservative MPs are so far untainted by the divisions that played havoc on its parliamentary party during the EU Referendum.

“If Scottish Labour MPs can bring unity to their parliamentary colleagues on this issue, working with the SNP as the third biggest party in Westminster and the 13 Scottish Conservative MPs there would be a majority in favour of the Single Market.

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Ruth Davidson with Scotland's Tory MPs 

“Scotland’s new intake of MPs have a historic opportunity to make our mark, lead and save the UK from the cliff edge of leaving the European single market.”

Scottish voters backed remain by 62% and the SNP-led Scottish Government has put forward proposals to keep the UK, or failing that Scotland alone, in the single market post-Brexit. 

With the elections to the Scottish Parliament looming in 2021, Tory leader Ruth Davidson and Labour leader Kezia Dugdale are likely to reject the idea of an alliance, however. 

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Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale

In response to Gethin’s remarks, a Scottish Labour spokesperson said: “Labour will always put jobs and the economy first and it’s deeply disappointing that the SNP would rather pick a fight with Labour than join us in challenging the Tories.”

A Scottish Tory spokesman added: “Scottish Conservative MPs will do what’s best for Scotland, not what’s best for the SNP.”