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Westminster Turned a Deaf Ear to Scotland’s Voice

The below column written by Gordon Macdonald MSP appeared in the Edinburgh Evening News on 26 March 2019


Gordon MacDonald: Westminster turned a deaf ear to Scotland’s voice

We are now just a matter of days away from Brexit. Businesses are teetering on a cliff edge of uncertainty, prices are rising, vitally-needed EU citizens are still left insecure over their future, and our economy and public services are being put on the line.

In days, the UK could crash out of the EU. It is absolutely staggering that the UK government is no further forward since the second humiliating defeat of Theresa May’s Brexit deal.

Theresa May’s deal is fundamentally flawed and no amount of tinkering around the edges will take away from the fact that it would cause lasting damage to jobs, living standards, public services and the economy in Scotland.

Despite this, the Prime Minister has resorted to running down the clock in a desperate attempt to blackmail, bribe and beg MPs into backing the deal.

The false choice of “my deal or no-deal” that the Prime Minister has been spinning for months is simply not a choice that Scotland should have to make. The fact remains that the long-term consequences of Brexit, if it happens, are devastating for Scotland.

Throughout this Brexit process, Scotland’s voice has been ignored. Our 62 per cent vote to remain in the EU has been ignored. Our attempts to compromise have been ignored.

Shockingly, we’re in the position that a handful of DUP MPs have more influence over the future of this country than the Scottish Parliament does.

The side-ining of Scotland throughout this Brexit process has demonstrated, beyond doubt, that we are not treated as an “equal partner” in the UK. Scotland voted decisively to remain in the EU and we should not be dragged out against our will.

The constitutional crisis we find ourselves in – despite voting against Brexit – has shown the cost to Scotland, when decisions are taken at Westminster instead of here.

That’s why the only credible option left is to revoke Article 50 or delay it long enough for a second EU referendum, as the First Minister outlined on Saturday at the Put It To The People march in London.

After all, nobody voting to leave the EU voted for job losses, economic shock, and a 6 per cent fall in GDP by 2031, costing each person in Scotland £1,600.

Whatever lies ahead for Scotland’s constitutional future, it will be in all of our interests for the UK to have the closest possible relationship with Europe.

It’s high time that Scotland’s voice was heard. It is only right that, given what we now know about the devastating consequences of Brexit for Scotland, the people must have the final say.


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