Scottish Parliament rejects Tory plan to trigger EU exit talks 


SNP, Labour and Greens unite to reject Tory Hard Brexit kickoff next month

THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT HAS REJECTED Tory plans to push ahead with Article 50 on exiting the European Union without any agreement with the Scottish Government. 

Minister Michael Russell said that all attempts to reach a compromise with the Tory Government had so far been ignored, leaving the government with no choice but to oppose the triggering of Article 50 at this stage. 

Russell, who was scathing of the Ukip-influence process of exiting the EU, said: “We will never allow Scotland to be humiliated and its democratic choice rejected. We will never, ever turn our back on Europe and the world.”

Supporters of the Scottish Greens also rallied outside parliament with co-convener Maggie Chapman addressing the crowd. 

The Labour Party joined with the SNP and the Greens to condemn the triggering of Article 50 “until it has set out detail on the full range of unanswered questions covering many policy areas where its proposals would have a detrimental effect on the jobs and opportunities of people across Scotland”.

The outcome meant the Conservatives were once again isolated in the chamber, voting against the final amended motion which passed 90 votes to 34. 

“We have a duty to listen to the electorate who voted overwhelmingly, by 62 per cent, to remain”. Ross Greer MSP

West of Scotland MSP Ross Greer led the Green Party’s opposition to triggering Article 50: “Given that the Supreme Court observed that Brexit will affect the powers of the Scottish Parliament, it’s right that Holyrood has a say in the matter. Westminster voted for Theresa May’s hard Brexit last week, on the basis of an error strewn white paper cobbled together in the middle of the night, so it’s important that we make sure Scotland’s voice is heard.

“There’s going to be a rally outside parliament when MSPs are debating Article 50 and I hope that politicians will vote the same way today as they did on referendum day. We have a duty to listen to the electorate who voted overwhelmingly, by 62 per cent, to remain and that is what Greens will continue to campaign for.

“It’s increasingly clear that the referendums of 2014 and 2016 have delivered incompatible results and with Westminster dismissing compromise it is likely time for all of us to choose between a Brexit Britain, tilting towards Trump, or an independent Scotland in Europe.”

Opposition to the triggering of Article 50 signals the persistent gap between the approach to the EU referendum result in Scotland and the approach at Westminster, where the Tories and Labour largely voted in favour of beginning the EU exit process. 

The Scottish Government proposed a compromise position, where Scotland could remain within the EU single market even if the rest of the UK exited. 

The Tories plan to trigger the formal letter to the European Commission next month to begin the two year period for talks on exit. 

Picture courtesy of Scottish Parliament TV

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