EXCL SNP Commons boss implores Tories to join forces on single market
A top SNP MP has urged his Conservative and Labour colleagues north of the border to join forces to keep Britain in the single market after Brexit.
Ian Blackford - the party’s Westminster leader - said Scottish MPs had “an historic opportunity” to club together and “save the UK from the cliff edge” of quitting the free trading area.
In an exclusive article for the House magazine on the eve of the SNP annual conference in Glasgow, he said with the 13 Scottish Tory MPs and seven Scottish Labour MPs there would be a majority for it in the Commons.
The SNP lost some 21 seats at the snap general election in June - after holding every seat bar three since the 2015 vote.
Mr Blackford wrote: “The leaders of all of Scotland’s political parties represented at Westminster expressed their commitment to the European single market both before and after the referendum.
“Given these commitments, membership of the single market is firmly on the table – as a direct consequence of the voters’ decision at the general election.
“If Scottish Labour MPs can bring unity to their parliamentary colleagues on this issue, working with the SNP as the third biggest party in Westminster and the 13 Scottish Conservative MPs there would be a majority in favour of the single market.”
He added: “The prize is the opportunity to help safeguard jobs, opportunities for young people, safeguard the rights of EU Nationals and the rights that we gained as EU citizens.
“It would also demonstrate a willingness to put party interests to one side for the common good.
“Scotland’s MPs – SNP and others - have an historic opportunity to make our mark, lead and save the UK from the cliff edge of leaving the European single market. We should grab it with both hands.”
His colleague Stephen Gethins – who speaks on international affairs for the party - agreed in an interview for the House magazine that MPs should vote across party lines in the Commons on issues such as the single market.
“People trying to remain in their own political silos just doesn’t work anymore,” he added.