Special NI Brexit deal could have unravelled entire UK - Ruth Davidson

Lloyd Doyle
December 8, 2017

On Tuesday, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson also rejected the suggestion and said "if regulatory alignment in a number of specific areas is the requirement for a frictionless [Irish] border, then the Prime Minister should conclude this must be on a UK-wide basis".

If Northern Ireland is required to have a separate status, giving it close ties with the European Union single market as a condition of the talks on Brexit moving to the next stage (as the BBC seems to think Northern Ireland should be urged to agree to) why has the BBC not slanted its news comment to airing the possibility of facilitating Scotland's inclusion in that special status?

Scotland's Brexit minister has called on rival parties to unite and "speak with one voice" in a bid to keep the United Kingdom in the single market as political turmoil continued over Britain's departure from the European Union (EU).

A proposal by the UK Government would have allowed Northern Ireland to maintain the same trade regulations as the Republic of Ireland.

He said keeping Britain in the single market would be the way out of the "incredible mess" created by Prime Minister Theresa May.

But a dramatic intervention from the Democratic Unionist Party - which props up the minority Conservative Government in Westminster - brought talks to a halt, after it made clear it would not accept any arrangement which saw Northern Ireland treated differently from the rest of the UK.

He spoke out as Prime Minister Theresa May was seeking urgent talks with Northern Irish leaders after the UK Government's attempts to settle the Irish border issue failed to reach agreement.

However, the DUP said such a deal was "clearly unacceptable" as party leaders made clear they would not countenance Northern Ireland having a different deal from the rest of the UK.

He accused the Scottish Conservative leader of "playing silly games" and said her position on leaving the European Union was "woolly and ambiguous".

He said the "reason that Theresa May is not proposing it is because she can not get it past Boris Johnson and Liam Fox and a number of other extremists" who had campaigned for taking Britain out of the European Union. So her comments today should be taken in that context.

In the article, Ms Davidson argued that keeping the internal market throughout the United Kingdom on a level playing field is crucial to Scotland. "And stop playing silly games".

The First Minister commented: " The Scottish Tories seem more interested in appeasing the DUP than in standing up for Scotland's best interests.

Keeping Northern Ireland in the single market is seen as being crucial in preventing the return of a hard border with the Republic - something United Kingdom ministers have pledged to avoid.

Russell told MSPs: "If this Chamber were to speak with one voice on membership of the single market and the customs union, I think it would be very effective indeed".

"If the Labour Party were to adopt that to be a standard, that would move this on very considerably indeed".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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