Scotland politics

SNP MPs certain to oppose Article 50

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Media captionScottish minister rules out support for Article 50

Scotland's Brexit minister has said there are no circumstances in which SNP MPs would back triggering Article 50.

Mike Russell told the BBC Sunday Politics Scotland programme that no possible amendments to the plan to begin Brexit could win them over.

He said Scotland was opposed to the kind of United Kingdom Theresa May wants it to be.

The prime minister said earlier this week the Scottish government should be "fully engaged" in the Brexit process.

Asked if SNP representatives in the House of Commons are certain to oppose Article 50, Mr Russell said: "Absolutely.

"I can't conceive of circumstances in which we would support the triggering of Article 50.

"As I say, the triggering not only takes this forward in an unacceptable way, it declares the type of country that Theresa May wants this country to be.

"That's not the country that I and my colleagues, and indeed all of Scotland, want it to be."

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Image caption Mrs May said she "welcomed" the Scottish government's ideas on Brexit

The prime minister wrote this week of her willingness to take seriously Scottish government plans to retain close trade links with the EU.

She said: "From the start I've been determined that the Scottish government should be fully engaged in the process and my commitment remains absolute.

"I welcome the Scottish government's paper."

John Lamont MSP, the Scottish Conservative chief whip, added: "While the UK government is pressing ahead with plans to ensure Britain is ready for the challenges of the future, the SNP government is leading Scotland down a blind alley of higher taxes and uncertainty over independence.

"The comments from Mike Russell today simply confirm what we have long suspected, that the SNP has no interest in working constructively with the UK government on Brexit.

"The prime minister has made it clear that she wants a deal that works for all parts of the UK, but the SNP are intent only on creating further division."

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