‘When will the SNP wake up!’ Sturgeon mocked over plans to vote down Brexit trade deal

Brexit: Ian Blackford grilled over SNP's stance on trade deal

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford announced on Sunday afternoon that the party will oppose Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit trade deal when it goes to a vote in Parliament next week. The SNP chief – who has also been an fierce opponent of a no deal Brexit outcome – branded the historic trade deal an “unforgivable act of economic vandalism” and claimed it would be a “disaster for Scotland”.

Writing on Twitter shortly after it emerged the SNP would not support the trade deal, royal commentator Dickie Arbiter claimed the Scottish nationalists were living in “la la land “ and urged the party to finally honour the result of the 2016 EU referendum.

In a scathing assessment, the former press secretary to the Queen from 1988-2000, also pointed to the vast sums of money sent by the Westminster Government to the devolved administration north of the border.

Mr Arbiter, 80, said: “Well the SNP would wouldn’t they.

“When are they going to leave la la land and accept it was the UK that voted for Brexit.

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“The last time I looked it up Scotland was still a part of the UK – interesting isn’t it, they want Westminster cash handouts.”

A recent report by the National Audit Office found spending in Scotland is actually higher than the UK average.

Treasury figures from 2019 show spending on public services per head in Scotland was £10,881- compared to the UK average of £9,350.

The Prime Minister secured a landmark trade deal with the EU on December 24 – just seven days before the official end of the Brexit transition period.

The treaty – worth more than £600billion the UK economy – allows the frictionless trade of goods and services between the UK and Europe from January 1.

MPs will return to parliament on December 30 to scrutinise and then vote on the 1,246-page agreement. 

The treaty is expected to sail through the House of Commons as the Tories have an 79-seat majority and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has reluctantly backed the agreement amid fears over the alternative of no deal. 

In his criticism, Mr Blackford conceded the deal will pass through the Commons regardless of how the SNP will vote.

He said: “Boris Johnson’s extreme Tory Brexit is an unforgivable act of economic vandalism and gross stupidity, which will cause lasting damage to the economy and leave the UK much worse off at the worst possible time – during a pandemic and economic recession.

“With the Labour Party lining up behind Boris Johnson, it is clear Westminster will impose this hard Tory Brexit regardless of how Scotland votes, but it is not being done in our name.

“It is a disaster for Scotland.”

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In another rant, Mr Blackford accused the Government of delivering “massive sell-out” to the fishing industry.

The party said a clause in the agreement which granted fishing access for EU vessels up to June 30, 2026, was in breach of a previous Scottish Conservative MPs’ commitments to the industry.

However, the UK Government hit back, saying the SNP’s stance was an example of “breathtaking hypocrisy” given the party supported Scotland returning to the EU and its Common Fisheries Policy.

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