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Bid to 'avoid a choice beween disaster and catastrophe' sees MP Blackford issue challenge to Prime Minister


By Scott Maclennan


MP Ian Blackford
MP Ian Blackford

ROSS MP Ian Blackford has called on Prime Minister Theresa May to “change course - or resign” over Brexit.

In what was described as a “frank exchange”, Mr Blackford told the Prime Minister that the people of Scotland should not be forced out of the EU against their will and if necessary the SNP would try to secure a vote on revoking Article 50.

"Theresa May is taking the UK down the path to disaster - she must change course or resign,” he said.

"It is time for the Prime Minister to finally face up to the fact that her deal has been resoundingly rejected. The SNP will not facilitate a third meaningful vote on the same damaging deal.

"Nor will we be bullied into an artificially truncated timeline of the Prime Minister's making. This could have all been resolved in December. Instead, we will support a long extension that gives time for a meaningful discussion and change in direction.”

Away from the parliamentary impasse, Mr Blackford reiterated his call for another vote on leaving the European Union as the best way to resolve the ongoing political crisis.

"The best and most democratic way forward is to put the decision back to the people in a second EU referendum, with Remain on the ballot paper,” he said.

“But if parliament cannot agree a way forward that prevents a no-deal Brexit, we will push for a parliamentary vote to revoke Article 50.

"Throughout the Brexit process, Scotland's wishes have been ignored. Theresa May has wasted a thousand days refusing to build consensus across the parliaments and nations of the UK. She has only sought to placate the extreme Brexiteers, and she has no one but herself to blame for the mess she has created.”

He added: “Scotland did not vote for Brexit and we should be dragged out of the EU against our will. The people of Scotland deserve a choice over our future - and one way or another that choice will be ours to make.”

Prior to a cross-party meeting with Theresa May, the SNP, Plaid Cymru, Liberal Democrats and Green Party issued a joint statement calling on parliament to step in.

“We agree that the House of Commons must formulate a plan that will give the EU Council the confidence to agree a longer extension beyond June 30, so that by the end of next week legislation can be in place to prevent a No Deal exit.

“Parliament should now sit in continuous session until it can reach a decision and set out a clear plan. We will be pushing for the House of Commons to support a referendum on remaining in the EU, others will put forward their own positions.

“If the Commons cannot agree, as a last resort we will be prepared to take steps to secure a parliamentary vote on the revocation of Article 50. The Prime Minister must not be allowed to bully MPs into a choice between her bad deal and no deal.

“That would make Brexit a choice between disaster and catastrophe, and that would be a failure of truly historic proportions. The UK - and all of its people and nations - deserve better.”



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