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Scottish Tories accused of risking peace in Northern Ireland



Ruth Davidson

Ruth Davidson

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Ruth Davidson

The leader of the Scottish Conservative party has been accused by a leading expert of risking peace in Northern Ireland with her party's stance on a special deal for Northern Ireland.

Ruth Davidson, along with Scottish Secretary David Mundell, reportedly threatened to resign if a backstop agreement goes ahead for Northern Ireland - over fears it could spark a push for Scottish independence.

In a joint letter to Theresa May from Mr Mundell and Ms Davidson obtained by The Scotsman published earlier this week, the pair wrote they "could not support" an exception being made for Northern Ireland.

"Having fought just four years ago to keep our country together, the integrity of our United Kingdom remains the single most important issue for us in these negotiations," the letter read.

It was later reported the letter had not been meant as an ultimatum.

Under the current proposal being brought to Brussels by the UK, and included in earlier rounds of negotiations, Northern Ireland would retain regulatory customs alignment as a means of avoiding a hard border - until such time as an alternative arrangement is reached.

The view of Scottish Conservatives was outlined in a Financial Times article by Adam Tomkins, the party's constitutional affairs spokesman.

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"From a Scottish Conservative and Unionist perspective, what goes for Northern Ireland must go for Scotland also," he wrote.

Hitting back at points made in the article, Kirsty Hughes, director of influential think-tank the Scottish Centre on European Relations, wrote on Twitter: "Ruling out a NI-specific backstop implies a readiness to risk v damaging no deal Brexit for UK &/or to damage Irish peace process."


"Why are Scottish Tories so fearful differentiation for NI means the same for Scotland? Scotland has diffferent economic structures, land & sea borders, so copying a NI deal may not make sense. It wd need May to ask for it, EU to accept – May won’t, EU unlikely & now too late," she added.

"There’s no special deal in sight for Scotland but Scottish Tories, the party that brought us Brexit, are ready to damage Irish peace process for own unionist concerns. If they really want to protect the Union, they wd speak out for remain & against growing damage of Brexit."

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