Scotland’s political parties will unite in their opposition to British prime minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal next week, joining together to show their anger at her plan to leave the European Union.
The initiative underlines the ire felt in Scotland, which voted to remain in the EU at a 2016 referendum, over May’s plan, which several parties say was negotiated without any attempt to bring them on board.
They will propose a single motion opposing May’s EU Withdrawal Agreement in a debate at the devolved Scottish parliament Holyrood, which has wide-reaching powers over education, health and a portion of taxes.
The vote does not have any direct tangible bearing on the Brexit process but is a way of showing the strength of feeling over May’s plans to leave the European Union and disgruntlement that Scotland’s voice, as the parties see it, has been ignored.
The motion will be signed by the pro-independence Scottish National Party and Scottish Greens and the anti-independence Labour and Liberal Democrats.
Scottish politics have been divided on constitutional lines since a 2014 referendum on independence, in which Scots voted by 55-45 per cent to stay part of the United Kingdom.
May visited Scotland on Wednesday (28) in an attempt to drum up public support for her Brexit deal agreed in Brussels last weekend, which she says suits all corners of Britain.
“The day after the prime minister’s stage-managed visit to Scotland, during which she failed to engage with any politicians or individuals who oppose her proposals, this unique and positive cooperation between four of the five parties at Holyrood indicates Scotland’s strength of feeling on Brexit and the prime minister’s untenable position, as well as illustrating the isolation of the (Conservatives) on this matter,” they said in a joint statement.
Britain’s 52-48 per cent 2016 vote to leave the EU strained the ties of the four-nation United Kingdom because England and Wales voted to leave but Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay.
Wales and Scotland say they have been ignored in the negotiating process, something the government denies.