Published On: Sun, Oct 8th, 2017

SNP BATTLE CRY: ‘Brexit will NEVER be acceptable!' – Russell blasts Scotland will STAY in


Michael Russell, the SNP’s Brexit minister used his speech at the party conference in Glasgow today to batter the Conservatives for its lack of leadership on Brexit and toxic in-fighting.

He said: “The Tories have no mandate to take our European membership or our European citizenship away from us.

“To hold onto or regain those things we must continue to indicate to the UK and the EU that we see our future as an active member state of the EU that could and would in this last week be speaking up as a member for self determination, for democracy and for the rule of law.

“Now to move forward with those objectives we must show our fellow citizens, in the uncharted stormy waters of Brexit, which we never looked for, never voted for, they will never be acceptable to us, we have the clarity, the leadership, and the intelligence and the determination to see it though for the best of Scotland.”

The Scottish Brexit minister insisted that there were a series of challenges ahead to complete negotiations on Britain’s exit from the EU.

Describing the entire process as the “complex and difficult challenge of Brexit” he cited the issues of business, money and regulation as the key difficulties but encouraged the continent to co-operate to get the job done.

He said if negotiations failed it would be for “reasons of fake sentiment” or “arrogant assumptions of superiority” or a “fantasy led by fanatics.”

In May 2016, the SNP were elected to Scottish government for a third time on the promise of an independent referendum if they were “torn out of Europe against the will,” said Mr Russell.

He promised that the Scottish people would get their vote on a referendum, but they were not quite ready to put that in place.

He said Scots should get to choose between a hard or soft Brexit, and independence, but he blasted Theresa May for a lack of leadership and her “unstable government” for muddying the waters.

The SNP minister also claimed that they had little to no more information on what Brexit would entail because Mrs May had not been clear on her vision – despite her Brexit speech in Florence.

He said: “For a start we don’t know what type of Brexit may take place, we don’t know more than a year ago.

“We suffer under an unstable government led by a prime minister whose days in that role are undoubtedly numbered. And it’s a small number.”

He then laid into Labour as being “confused” on Brexit, so he said that the Scottish government must be clear on what they want.

He said that he will issue an update later this year on Scotland’s plans to stay in the single market and customs union. 

But he accused the Conservatives of using Brexit as an excuse to undermine the devolved governments to transfer power back to London.

Mr Russell urged Mrs May to negotiate with the EU to stay in both the single market and customs union. 

He said that the position of EU nationals living in the UK must also be resolved as he wants to offer them reassurance.

Mr Russell also criticised the Conservatives for their internal fighting instead of handling Brexit. 

He said: “It’s bizarre that with so much at stake the Tories prefer internal warfare to the task of responsible governance.”



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