SNP MPs to vote against Brexit trade deal

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image captionIan Blackford said the SNP would vote against the deal on Wednesday

SNP MPs will vote against Boris Johnson's Brexit deal when it comes before the House of Commons next week.

The party's Westminster leader Ian Blackford branded the trade agreement with the EU a "disaster for Scotland".

MPs are due to vote on the deal, reached with the EU on Christmas Eve, on 30 December.

It comes as Holyrood's presiding officer said the Scottish Parliament would be recalled to consider the deal on the same day.

Ken Macintosh said MSPs would sit from 14:00 "to consider a trade and co-operation agreement between the United Kingdom and the European Union."

The UK government's deal is expected to pass at Westminster after Labour indicated it would support the agreement in order to provide legal clarity for business.

SNP leader and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has already accused the Conservatives of selling out the Scottish fishing industry "all over again" after the deal granted access to UK waters.

Ian Blackford described the agreement as an "unforgiveable act of economic vandalism and gross stupidity".

He added: "This is a very bad deal for Scotland, which will terminate our membership of the EU, rip us out of the world's largest single market and customs union, end our freedom of movement rights, and impose mountains of red tape, added costs and barriers to trade for Scottish businesses.

The deal with the EU will come into force after the UK's current transition period comes to an end on 31 December.

image copyrightReuters
image captionThe controversial deal on fisheries in the post-Brexit pact with the EU lasts until 2026

The Scottish government has claimed the Brexit deal could cost Scotland's economy more than £9bn by 2030 compared with remaining in the EU.

They said a forecast 6.1% drop in GDP was equivalent to losing £1,600 per person.

'Good news for Scotland'

But the UK government's Scottish secretary, Alister Jack, insisted Scots would expect their MPs to "do the right thing" and back the agreement in Wednesday's Commons vote.

He said: "The deal is good news for Scotland and I believe it is now time to move on from the Brexit debate and join forces in embracing our exciting future.

"We have secured a historic free trade deal with the EU that delivers for Scotland and the whole of the UK.

"This is a deep and wide-ranging deal, covering trade, security, travel, transport, energy, health and social security."

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