Brexit: SNP calls on government to provide support to Scotland
The SNP, which wants independence for Scotland and is pushing for a second referendum, said Scottish fishermen faced grave disruption due to Brexit. And Ian Blackford, the SNP’s leader in the House of Commons, said Mr Johnson’s Conservatives “must apologise to Scottish businesses and pay compensation to Scotland for the long-term damage they are doing to our economy – costing us billions in lost trade and growth”.
This disastrous Tory Brexit was a completely unnecessary act of economic vandalism
Mr Blackford described Brexit as “an unnecessary act of economic vandalism, which has been inflicted against Scotland’s will”.
He said: “It is completely unforgivable that Scotland is being forced to pay such a devastating high price for Boris Johnson’s extreme Tory Brexit deal, with mounting costs, red tape and disruption.
“The Tories must apologise to Scottish businesses and pay compensation to Scotland for the long-term damage they are doing to our economy – costing us billions in lost trade and growth.”
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He continued: “This disastrous Tory Brexit was a completely unnecessary act of economic vandalism, which has been inflicted against Scotland’s will.
“It is now beyond doubt that the only way to protect Scotland’s interests and our place in Europe is to become an independent country.
“With businesses, industries and communities across Scotland warning of rising costs, bureaucracy and delays, it is clear Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal has already left the UK poorer and worse off – with absolutely no benefit to Scotland at all. Every promise has been broken.
“The UK Government must now provide an urgent multi-billion package of compensation to Scotland to mitigate the lasting Brexit harm done to Scottish businesses, industries and communities.
“Scotland has been completely ignored by Westminster throughout the Brexit process.
“People in Scotland have the right to determine our own future, protect our interests, and regain the full benefits of EU membership as an independent country.”
But the compensation demands from the SNP have sparked a furious reaction from political rivals.
Scottish Tory constitution spokesman Dean Lockhart accused Ms Sturgeon’s party of “stirring up grievances” – especially when the country’s government has received “hundreds of millions of pounds” from Westminster.
He claimed the SNP are “sitting on more than £700 million of additional Covid business support funding” they have received from Chancellor Rishi Sunak, adding “not a single penny of this has yet been delivered to firms struggling massively from lockdown restrictions”.
Mr Lockhart said: “More than four years after the vote to leave the EU, the SNP have failed in their duty to support firms in Scotland in getting ready for the new trading arrangements.
“They are not being transparent about where they have spent the significant funding they have received in preparation money from the UK Government.
“The SNP are also sitting on more than £700 million of additional Covid business support funding that has recently come from the UK Chancellor.
“Not a single penny of this has yet been delivered to firms struggling massively from lockdown restrictions.”
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Scotland voted 55-45 percent against independence in a 2014 referendum but Brexit and Mr Johnson’s handling of the coronavirus crisis appears to have bolstered support for secession, with most polls showing a majority now favour breaking away.
In the 2016 Brexit referendum, Scotland voted 62-38 to stay in the EU while the UK as a whole voted 52-48 to leave.
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