On September 18th 2014, the Scottish people voted to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom; and on June 23rd 2016, the British people voted to leave the European Union. As a Scottish Conservative and Unionist, I believe that the will of the people, as expressed in both referendums, must be respected, and that is why I support the UK Government’s policy of leaving the European Union as one United Kingdom.
I believe that there should be no second referendum on independence, and no second referendum on Brexit. The people have made their choice on both issues, and it is the UK Government’s duty to carry out their will.
Developments in relation to leaving the European Union are evolving daily. The focus of the Government is to get a deal that protects jobs, security, and the integrity of the United Kingdom, with the support of Parliament. Parliament has said that it would support a deal with changes to the Northern Ireland backstop and further measures addressing workers' rights. Negotiations with the EU on the backstop are ongoing.
A deal will come back to Parliament by Tuesday the 12th of March for a vote and I hope Parliament will decide to support it, as I believe that is the best way to avoid a no deal scenario. However, if that vote is rejected by Parliament, a clear process has been set out that guarantees Parliament gets a vote on whether it wants to take no deal off the table. If that is supported, Parliament will then also have a vote on whether to seek a short time-limited extension to Article 50.
I believe it is incumbent upon Parliament to deliver a process of leaving the EU in a way that respects democratic process and the best way to do that is by supporting a deal. It allows a smooth orderly exit and to move forward and develop our future relationship with the EU.