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– in the Scottish Parliament on 20th September 2018.

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Photo of Ruth Maguire Ruth Maguire Scottish National Party

Last night, the Prime Minister told European Union leaders that she had put forward serious proposals on Brexit. However, all that is on the table is no deal or a blind Brexit, and both of those would seriously damage Scotland’s interests. Does the First Minister think that those are serious proposals or just seriously misguided ones?

The First Minister:

Brexit is a mistake and the handling of Brexit by the UK Government is complete and utter shambles. I think that I am quoting a Tory MP when I say that the Chequers proposal is as “dead as a dodo”. Although the Prime Minister wants to frame the choice that is coming later this year as one between no deal or Chequers, it is increasingly likely that the choice will be between no deal and no-detail deal, in which the statement about the future relationship after Brexit is vague and no one knows what comes after EU membership.

It would be reckless in the extreme for the UK to take a step off the Brexit cliff edge, in effect wearing a blindfold and with no idea where we are going to land. In those circumstances, it would be far more responsible to extend article 50 so that all the alternatives can be properly considered.

We are long past the stage where we can expect sensible proposals from the Government. The UK Tory Government is intent on recklessly taking the whole country off the Brexit cliff edge. Future generations will judge it extremely harshly for that.