‘Top Scottish Tories could resign over May’s Brexit deal’

#Brexit special section Beyond England Daily news News

Two senior Scottish Conservatives are said to have threatened to resign if any Brexit deal includes different arrangements for Northern Ireland.

Tory leader in Scotland Ruth Davidson and Scottish Secretary David Mundell have written to Prime Minister Theresa May claiming any such arrangement would undermine the UK’s integrity.

The BBC reports that both are prepared to quit if Northern Ireland has any new controls imposed that are different to those on the UK mainland.

The pair are concerned that any such deal could lead to a rise in support for Scottish independence.

In their letter to Theresa May, they said: “The integrity of our United Kingdom remains the single most important issue for us in these negotiations.

‘Any deal that delivers a differentiated settlement for Northern Ireland beyond the differences that already exist on all Ireland basis… would undermine the integrity of our UK internal market and this United Kingdom.

“We could not support any deal that creates a border of any kind in the Irish Sea and undermines the Union or leads to Northern Ireland having a different relationship with the EU than the UK.”

Scottish Brexit Minister Mike Russell told the BBC Sunday Politics Scotland programme that it was an “astonishing development.”

He added: “To say that you’ll resign if Scotland is not treated as badly as everywhere else strikes me as a complete dereliction of duty.

“They’re elected by people in Scotland and here they want Scotland to suffer the hardest of Brexits. That strikes me as a ludicrous position.”

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “What a bizarre position – isn’t it their job to stand up for Scotland?”

Labour MP Ian Murray tweeted: “But they also don’t want to continue to participate in the customs union and single market so how do they suggest resolving it?”

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