Starmer pressure

SNP demand EU conditions in UK hung parliament

Alyn Smith

Alyn Smith: ‘we need to undo Brexit’ (pic: Terry Murden)

Sir Keir Starmer will come under pressure to undo some of the Brexit trading rules as the price for being supported by the SNP in a minority Labour government in Westminster.

Voting intentions in the wake of the Conservatives’ disastrous showing in last week’s local elections in England point to a hung parliament next year with Labour as the biggest party.

That could see the SNP holding the balance of power and today the party is laying down its demands for supporting Sir Keir’s legislative programme.

The SNP’s EU Accession spokesman Alyn Smith said his party would seek to “undo Brexit as far as possible” and secure a close relationship between the UK and the EU in the interim, with single market membership and free movement being key priorities.

“The SNP would also push for the UK to rejoin Erasmus and Horizon Europe, and defend the European Court of Justice, while ensuring Scotland has the power to escape Brexit entirely with independence,” he said.

However, Sir Keir has ruled out any deals with the SNP. He told the Scottish Labour Party conference in February: “Whatever happens in the coming months my message is the same: no deal under any circumstances.

“The phony offers of support can end now.  The blame game can end now. The unspoken political bond between the SNP and the Tories, the shared investment in division, that ends now.”

The SNP’s for closer ties with the EU come days after the head of Sweden’s second largest party called for more exemptions from EU laws as part of a reset in relations with the 27-member bloc.

Jimmie Akesson said the EU’s ever-expanding power meant “German, Polish or French politicians, in practice decide what car you can buy, how expensive petrol should be and which tree you can cut down on your own property”.

Mr Akesson, whose anti-immigration party has a big influence over Sweden’s right-of-centre government, stopped short of calling for “Swexit” – a version of Britain’s exit from the EU. But he said the EU was heading in the wrong direction.

“Today, there are good reasons to seriously re-evaluate our membership in the union,” he wrote in daily newspaper Aftonbladet.

“Our general elections in Sweden will soon cease to have any significance in Sweden’s development. Naturally, we can’t allow that to happen.”

The latest YouGov poll, conducted on 1 May, shows 84% of Scots and 67% of people across the UK think the UK government is handling Brexit badly, with just 9% of Scots and 22% of people across the UK believing the UK government is handling Brexit well.

A separate poll conducted by Savanta for ITV Peston, between 28 April and 3 May, found 86% of young people across the UK aged 18-25 want to rejoin the EU.

2 Comments to SNP demand EU conditions in UK hung parliament

  1. So effectively the SNP want to work directly against the democratic majority, that’s worth knowing. Hopefully enough people wise-up and eradicate the SNP at the next election. It’s also time for the UK nations to have an internal vote on who wants to align with who, England + Wales + NI but without Scotland being the likely outcome. So a hard border between England and Scotland and removal/repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Scots back over the border. That would be a win win.

    • The democratic majority vote in Scotland was to remain in the EU. How inconvenient. Ever heard the phrase “canny Scots”?

      Democracy did not end in 2016. A national poll by Redfield and Wilton in April revealed that three times as many people were in favour of another referendum within five years as were against it. This is entirely consistent with other polls taken at different times by different polling organisations. People weren’t in favour of a new referendum so that they could vote to leave again were they. They now know that they were comprehensively lied to about the benefits.

      If Scotland goes then NI will follow. Neither voted to leave the EU – that was their democratic vote. If that happens then even Wales, which voted narrowly to leave, could figure out that they would be better off inside the Single Market, a much larger marketplace than little England. After all, if the Tories can claim that a trade deal with countries on the other side of the planet, the CPTPP, was a big compensation for leaving the SM then the same logic can be applied by the Welsh and the Scots, which takes care of the contiguous border benefit argument.

      England could become a rather lonely place surrounded by EU members. How long would that situation survive?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked as *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.