Ian Murray tells PM Brexit plans are '˜threat to the union'

Labour's former shadow Scottish secretary has accused Theresa May of being a threat to the Union because of her Government's Brexit plans.

Wednesday, 11th January 2017, 2:11 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th January 2017, 2:12 pm
Ian Murray, Scotland's only Labour MP spoke out at PMW's. Picture Steven Scott Taylor.


Ian Murray suggested uncertainty over whether the UK could lose access to the European single market was putting jobs in Scotland at risk as he called on the Prime Minister to guarantee that no one will lose out financially as a result of divorce from Brussels.

But Mrs May rejected Mr Murray’s criticism as she said she wanted to secure “the best possible trade deal for the United Kingdom with the EU”.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Speculation over whether the UK will retain full access to the single market post-Brexit while also demanding control over immigration has dominated the political landscape since the vote to Leave on June 23.

Mr Murray, the MP for Edinburgh South, said Mrs May’s “lack of priority for the single market is putting jobs in Scotland and the economy at risk”.

“That means her Government is as big a threat to the Union as the SNP,” he said.

“Her Government is not worthy of the trust of Scots let alone their blind trust.

“So will the Prime Minister take this opportunity to apologise for threatening the Union and give a solemn promise to every single person in this country that they will not be a penny worse off after a Tory Brexit?”

But Mrs May accused Mr Murray of “downplaying” the opportunities Brexit could offer to the UK as she responded during prime minister’s questions.

She said: “You will be very well aware that I want to see the best possible trade deal for the United Kingdom with the EU, the best possible deal for trading with and operating within the single European market.

“When we enter the negotiations obviously that is one of the issues that I have said that I want to see and we will be out there and will be delivering on it.

“Unlike the sort of downplaying that you do about the approach that we are taking I have to say it is this Government that is ambitious for the opportunities that are available to this country once we leave the European Union.”