Tory MP urges David Mundell to quit as Scottish Secretary over Brexit deal 'threat to Union'
An outspoken Tory MP has piled pressure on Scottish Secretary David Mundell to quit in protest at Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
Brexiteer Ross Thomson said “no Unionist” could back the plan and urged the Cabinet minister “in the gentlest and strongest terms” to stand down.
Mr Mundell has insisted he has no plans to resign and yesterday described Dominic Raab, who quit as Brexit Secretary, as a “carpet-bagger”.
The Scottish Secretary said last month that he could not back any Brexit deal that “delivers a differentiated settlement for Northern Ireland,” as it could fuel the SNP case for Scottish independence.
Under the terms of the draft withdrawal agreement struck by Theresa May, the province alone will remain in aspects of the EU single market as a way of avoiding a hard border with Ireland.
In a WhatsApp message to Mr Mundell, seen by the BBC, Aberdeen South MP Mr Thomson said the so-called ‘backstop’ plan would leave Northern Ireland “more closely aligned with the EU than the UK”.
He added: "We have already seen the SNP leaping on this calling for a differential deal in Scotland.
"This arrangement, I feel, is something no Unionist can support. Given that two members of the Cabinet have resigned on the basis that the proposals put at risk our Union I want to urge you in the gentlest and strongest terms to follow suit."
But Mr Thompson said he would support Mr Mundell in his decision as he was a “great Secretary of State” who was doing an “incredible job”.
The Cabinet minister has said he backed the draft withdrawal agreement because he believes quitting the EU without a deal would be “appalling” for Scotland.
In a blast at Mr Raab yesterday, he said: “I am not taking lessons for standing up for our United Kingdom from carpet-baggers.
“Only a couple of years ago Dominic Raab was proposing to introduce a bill of rights into Scotland which would have overwritten the Scottish legal system and devolution.
“So I am not impressed by his latter day commitment to the Union. I am sure this is more about maneuvering and leadership.”
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said Mr Mundell and Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson - who joined his warning last month - should stand down if they have any “backbone”.
'SEE THIS THROUGH'
Mrs May also suffered the resignation of Esther McVey as Work and Pensions Secretary yesterday, as well as those of two junior ministers and three governmental bag carriers.
The European Research Group of pro-Brexit Tory MPs urged colleagues to trigger a vote of no confidence in her leadership, while scores of her own backbenchers savaged her Brexit deal in the Commons.
But in a defiant message last night, the Prime Minister refused calls from Tory critics to resign and insisted: “I am going to see this through.”