Home » Politics » SNP Brexit vote: Could Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP block Brexit deal?
SNP Brexit vote: Could Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP block Brexit deal?
December 7, 2020
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The UK and EU are trying to agree on an adequate exit strategy for both sides now before time runs out at the end of the month. Disputes over fisheries and business competition remain the biggest obstacles as the Government said a Brexit deal was “still possible”. The Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said: “Time is obviously in very short supply. We are in the final stages, but we are prepared to negotiate for as long as we have time available if within an agreement is still possible.”
Could Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP block a Brexit deal?
As it stands, yes, the SNP could block a Brexit deal from being made.
The SNP will refuse to vote for any Brexit trade agreement despite the party warning No Deal would prove “catastrophic” for Scotland and its future, a senior minister has confirmed.
Mike Russell said while he would prefer for Britain to leave the Bloc with a deal, SNP MPs would refuse to vote for a deal in the House of Commons under any circumstances.
Opposition MSPs said Mr Russell’s position “reveals the SNP’s destructive true colours” and showed the party was “desperate” for talks to fail due to the belief it would promote the case for an independent Scotland.
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The SNP has previously said no deal would prove “catastrophic and would have severe and disproportionate impacts on Scotland – on food supply, on medicines, on transport and on rural matters”.
However, Mr Russell told the BBC it was “inconceivable” the 47 MPs in the Commons would vote for a deal.
This is despite Mr Russell saying he believed it would be “better to have some sort of arrangement than no sort of arrangement”.
Mr Russell continued: “We won’t support a deal because we don’t believe Brexit is the right thing to happen.
“Scotland did not vote for Brexit. It would be extraordinary if we were voting to give away all the rights we have and all the things we have enjoyed for almost 50 years. That would be inconceivable.
“We’re not going to nod anything through, and I don’t think anybody would expect us to.”
The Labour Party is currently discussing whether or not they will support a deal in the Commons.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson could also face a revolt from his own backbenchers, depending on the terms of any agreement if one is able to be secured.
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Dean Lockhart, constitution spokesman for the Scottish Conservatives, said: “Mike Russell reveals yet again the SNP’s destruction true colours by refusing to back any Brexit deal no matter how positive it may be for the people of Scotland.
“The Nationalists are desperate for these talks to fail because they believe it would fuel their ideological and highly damaging pursuit of breaking up the UK.”
It comes as Nicola Sturgeon came under fire for her lack of preparedness for Brexit, in particular when it comes to fishing.
The UK’s Environment Secretary George Eustace revealed Scotland is short of 100 officials needed in five weeks’ time to deal with post-Brexit paperwork for fish products.
Asked in the House of Commons recently by SNP MP Richard Thomson to provide certainty about potential delays to fish exports at Channel ports, Mr Eustice said the problems really lay in Scotland.
He said: “We’ve been working with the fishing industry and local authorities to ensure they have the capacity in place to employ the environmental health officers necessary to issue both the catch certificates and the environmental health certificates.
“We have around 1,000 officers that can issue export health certificates for fish.
“It is the case there are some concerns in Scotland where the Scottish Government potentially has a gap in capacity of 100, we’re working with them to try to offer our help to ensure this gap can be filled.”