SNP in last-ditch bid to THWART May’s Brexit as party plots to keep UK in single market
Posted on Jan 9 2018 - 5:33am by admin

Despite the Government repeatedly ruling out the prospect of keeping Britain’s customs union and single market membership after Brexit, the Scottish Nationalists want to bring the idea back to the negotiating table and are looking to other opposition parties to support them.

The talks, co-ordinated by SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford, will involve the leaders of the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru and the Greens, the party said.

Altogether the four parties have just 52 MPs – less than one-sixth of the 316 Conservative MPs.

The SNP has said there is a chair waiting for Jeremy Corbyn at the round-table meeting if he chooses to attend, but the Labour leader is believed to have indicated he would not turn up.

Mr Blackford said: “Extreme Tory plans to drag Scotland and the UK out of the single market and customs union will take a wrecking ball to our economy – destroying hundreds of thousands of jobs, and damaging people’s incomes, livelihoods, and living standards for decades to come.

“As we move into the critical second phase of the Brexit negotiations, and with just over a year to go before the UK is set to leave the EU, time is running out to save the country from this unprecedented economic catastrophe.

“Our hope for the meeting is to build on the consensus with other opposition parties – it is now more important than ever that we have a united and effective opposition focused on protecting our vital single market membership and holding the UK Government to account.

“Short of remaining in the EU, protecting our single market membership is by far the best compromise, the least damaging option, and the only way to safeguard people’s jobs, incomes and living standards.”

Earlier today, SNP MP Kirsty Blackman took to Twitter to call on the Labour party to back the bid to remain in the customs union and single market.

She tweeted: “Labour backbenchers now trying to make their front bench see sense and support remaining part of EU vat area. 

“Customs union and single market are so important to jobs. Labour must now unambiguously support retention of membership.”

Meanwhile, the SNP’s Stephen Gethins was told to “get real” and respect Britain’s vote to leave the EU by Labour MP Nia Griffith after he called on Labour to back their plans.

He told BBC Daily Politics: “Jeremy Corbyn has failed yet again to take an opportunity to try and get the least worst options out of Brexit that’ll help save jobs, help the economy. 

Ms Griffith then claimed the Labour Party is doing it’s “very best” to try and get the Government to “see sense” and stay in the single market and customs union. 

Mr Gethins said parties need to work together to get the “least worst option” for what is a “pretty chaotic and catastrophic” Brexit process.

He said maintaining membership of the single market and customs union is “absolutely worth having”. 

A group of 20 MEPS, including three Tory rebels, have written to Theresa May to demand Britain stays in the single market and customs union after Brexit or risk economic calamity. 

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