EDINBURGH (Reuters) – Scottish political parties joined forces on Wednesday to show their opposition to both Prime Minister Theresa May’s “damaging” deal for leaving the European Union and the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.
The symbolic vote — which was not supported by the Scottish Conservatives allied to May — was a rare example of near-unity on a constitutional issue in the nationalist-led devolved parliament.
It also showed the level of anger about Brexit in Scotland where most voters backed staying in the EU in the 2016 referendum.
The vote does not have any direct impact on the debate in Britain’s parliament where May’s draft Brexit agreement with other EU leaders appears headed for defeat on Dec. 11, with no clarity on what could happen next.
“Scotland needs and deserves better than the prime minister’s blindfold Brexit,” Michael Russell, Scotland’s constitutional relations minister, told the chamber.
May’s Brexit meant “at least four more years of stagnation, lack of investment with no guarantee that a free trade deal will ever be struck,” he said.
May has said a rejection of her plan by Britain’s parliament would mean either a no-deal Brexit, widely seen as economically damaging, or no Brexit at all.
(Reporting by Elisabeth O’Leary; Editing by William Schomberg)