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MPs must work together to block no-deal Brexit – Blackford

The SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford has said there should be cross-party agreement to take the option of a no-deal Brexit off the table.

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Ian Blackford said that there is no such thing as a good Brexit (Jane Barlow/PA)

Ian Blackford said that there is no such thing as a good Brexit (Jane Barlow/PA)

Ian Blackford said that there is no such thing as a good Brexit (Jane Barlow/PA)

MPs must take control of the House of Commons and ensure that a no-deal Brexit is avoided, the SNP’s Westminister leader has said.

Politicians are due to vote on the Brexit deal proposed by Prime Minister Theresa May at Westminster on Tuesday.

Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday Politics programme, Ian Blackford said Mrs May should not portray her deal as being the only route to avoiding leaving the European Union without a deal in place

Mr Blackford said: “I think everyone now knows that there is no such thing as a ‘good Brexit’, there’s no such thing as a ‘jobs-first Brexit’, as some have claimed.

“Under any scenario, people are going to be poorer, people are going to lose their jobs.

We've got to take responsibility, I think we've got to act in all our interests and that's what we will be doingIan Blackford, SNP Westminster leader

“As politicians, we’ve got a responsibility to have a conversation with everybody that we now know that Brexit is going to be painful.

“I would like the House of Commons now to take control because the Prime Minister has failed to give leadership.

“The Prime Minister’s got to stop threatening Parliament and indeed, threatening the whole of the United Kingdom, that it’s a choice between her deal and no deal – that’s not the case.

“There are other options that are open to us and Parliament has to make sure that it takes the necessary action to protect the interests of all of us”.

The SNP, along with the Liberal Democrats and the Greens has indicated its support for holding another referendum on leaving the EU, a proposal also backed by several MPs from the Conservatives and Labour.

Mr Blackford said that revoking Article 50, which sets a deadline of March 29 for the date of departure, and holding another referendum would be the most sensible option for moving forward.

“I think the sensible thing to do now is to put this back to the people, let’s have a People’s Vote,” he said.

“We’ll have a much more informed debate than was the case in 2016 – we had a slogan on the side of a bus – and I think it’s only right, now that we know what the consequences of Brexit will be, that we allow the people to determine what they want.
That’s the right thing to do.

“We’ve got to take responsibility, I think we’ve got to act in all our interests and that’s what we will be doing.

“The SNP will work with others to make sure that we can find a way through this”.

The Labour Party has suggested that it will table a motion of no-confidence in the Government if, as expected, the Prime Minister’s deal fails to gain enough votes to pass.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said his party wants to have a general election, a possibility which Mr Blackford said the SNP would be prepared for.

He said: “I would love a general election because that would allow us to give a very clear statement to the Tory government as to where we’re standing.

“If there is a general election, I would welcome that and I welcome the opportunity to campaign in the streets of Scotland if that is the case”.

PA