Ian Blackford: Scotland not prepared to leave EU 'against will'

Friday, September 13, 2019

The Scottish National Party’s Westminster leader has said he is “desperate for a general election” so Scotland can show its "determination" to remain in the EU.

Ian Blackford said an election would give Scottish people the chance to send a "clear message" to the Prime Minister that they want to stay in the bloc.

Scotland voted to remain with a majority of 62 per cent in the 2016 referendum.

“I want people in Scotland to be able to send a very clear message to Boris Johnson and anybody else who might be in Number 10 that we’re not prepared to be taken out of the European Union against our will," Mr Blackford told talkRADIO's Julia Hartley-Brewer.

However, while he wants a general election "as soon as is practically possible", the remain-supporting MP said it will not be “on Boris Johnson’s terms”.

Like many opposition MPs, he said he will only back one when an extension to the Brexit deadline is secured.

Mr Blackford added that, for Scotland, a snap poll would also centre on the debate surrounding another Scottish Independence referendum.

“The people of Scotland voted overwhelmingly to stay in the European Union and I want our right to have our say on our future.

“It has to be about our rights to determine when we have a referendum on independence and it should be up to the Scottish Parliament where we have a mandate for an independence referendum when the timing of that takes place."

The MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber also criticised Boris Johnson’s negotiations, saying there was “no evidence whatsoever that any meaningful talks are taking place.”

His comment follows one made by the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier, who said there is "no reason to be optimistic" that a new agreement can be reached before the Prime Minister's deadline to ask for a delay.

Mr Blackford continued: “if he has a plan, and he’s been asked several times in the House of Commons, tell us what it is”.

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