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Brexit is a ‘significant long-term cause of the UK economic crisis’, SNP claims

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford speaks during Prime Minister’s Questions (House of Commons/PA)
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford speaks during Prime Minister’s Questions (House of Commons/PA)

The SNP’s Westminster leader has called on the Prime Minister to “admit that Brexit is a significant long-term cause of the UK economic crisis”.

Ian Blackford branded the UK’s departure from the European Union the “elephant in the room that neither the Tories or Labour are willing to confront”.

Rishi Sunak told MPs in the Commons he was “proud to support Brexit” and respected “the result of referendums”.

Raising the issue during Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Blackford said: “It is such a sad sight to watch this Prime Minister ram through a Bill that would rip up 4,000 pieces of European law, laws that protect workers’ rights, food standards and environmental protections.

“It’s an even worse sight watching the leader of the Labour Party desperately trying to out-Brexit the Prime Minister.”

He added: “Brexit is now the elephant in the room that neither the Tories or Labour are willing to confront. When will the Prime Minister finally see reality and admit that Brexit is a significant long-term cause of the UK economic crisis.”

Prime Minister’s Questions
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak makes his point during Prime Minister’s Questions (House of Commons/PA)

Mr Sunak replied: “I was proud to support Brexit, it was the right thing for this country. It allows us to first of all get control of our borders, which is incredibly important … I know he’ll join me in reminding the Leader of the Opposition (Sir Keir Starmer) (that) his previous promise to defend free movement of people, (is) not something that we support.

“We’re also seizing the economic opportunities, deregulating and signing trade deals around the world, that’s how we’ll drive growth and prosperity.”

Mr Blackford argued that “Scotland can’t be stuck with a new Brexit together coalition of the Tories and Labour”.

He said: “The problem for both the Prime Minister and the Labour leader is that when it comes to Brexit, even their own voters don’t agree with them.

He added: “One in five who actually voted for Brexit have now changed their minds. More and more people across these islands are wise to the fact that make Brexit work is just another stupid slogan. Scotland can’t be stuck with a new Brexit together coalition of the Tories and Labour.

“So on this St Andrew’s Day, can the Prime Minister finally tell people in Scotland the democratic path to escape Westminster control, to deliver independence so we can get back to the European Union.”

Mr Sunak replied: “I think the difference between him and I is that I respect the result of referendums. We had the fastest vaccine rollout in the world, we had that because of our freedoms after leaving the EU.”