Scottish Tories expected to vote as bloc to protect Scotland's interests

Claudine Rigal
Juin 12, 2017

The Scottish leader has already hinted she will use her sway to influence the Brexit deal, and has insisted there needs to be wider consensus on the terms of leaving the European Union, including consultation with opposition parties.

The SNP is still the third largest party in Westminster with 35 seats.

He told the BBC's Sunday Politics Scotland programme: "It's extremely important that the entire Brexit policy from Theresa May is scrapped and they start again".

She said this morning: 'I've always spoken about how I want an open, rather than a closed Brexit, and that puts freedoms at the heart of what it is that we achieve here.

He indicated Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland's first minister, would likely postpone indefinitely her plans for a second referendum after the SNP's defeats last week, when it lost 21 of its 56 seats.

But he said: "To some extent everything is off the table" until stability was restored and the Brexit situation addressed as he echoed Sturgeon's support for an alliance of progressive parties to offer an alternative to a new Tory Government propped up by the DUP. "We've had from the Tories over the last 12 months nothing but chaos and instability".

Russell said "We do believe [the document] contains some important solutions". It started with the premise that the whole of the United Kingdom should stay in the single market and that, I'm pleased to see, is something that is back on the agenda.

"If the Tories in Scotland have genuinely changed their view on Brexit then I'd be very pleased".

"The position taken by Brexit Minister Mike Russell today is unsustainable".

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said on Saturday that she would argue Scotland's case "forcefully" to the prime minister, having won 13 seats in Thursday's election.

'It is about making sure that we put free trade at the heart of what it is we seek to achieve as we leave'.

However, Davidson is not expected to call on every member of her Scottish group to vote as a bloc on other United Kingdom wide or global matters, such as social or moral issues, or the trade, immigration or treaty parts of the Brexit deal.

"I think they need to make it absolutely clear that indyref2 is off the table but more importantly what they need to be doing is taking responsibility for the issues that matter in Scotland, for example child poverty".

On a second independence referendum, new Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West Christine Jardine said the SNP had to "make it absolutely clear that it's off the table".

Mr Kelly said the party's seven Scottish MPs would "play an active role in Jeremy Corbyn's team" adding, "at the forefront of that there needs to be a lead person speaking for Scotland in the shadow cabinet".

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