The SNP has said securing an extension to the Brexit transition period is “the only responsible option” – as EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier warned “the clock is ticking”.
Alyn Smith MP (pictured) said it would be unthinkable for the Tory government to “hammer the economy” with a hard Brexit at exactly the time when it will need all the help it can get to protect jobs, businesses and living standards.
The SNP Shadow Foreign Secretary called for Tory ministers to put dogma aside, take their responsibilities seriously and secure a two-year extension.
Commenting, SNP Shadow Foreign Secretary Alyn Smith MP said:
“It would be unthinkable for the Tory government to hammer the economy with a hard Brexit at a time when it will need all the help it can get to protect jobs, businesses and living standards.
“Tory ministers must cast aside the Brexit dogma, take their responsibilities seriously, and agree an extension of the maximum two years on offer, so we can get to the other side of this emergency.
“Securing an extension is the only responsible option.
“Crashing out of the EU with a bad deal or no deal this year would be the final blow for many businesses that are already struggling to survive – and it would leave people even poorer and worse off at a time of greatest need.
“Even if it were possible to rush through a fantasy deal this year it would not be in anyone’s interests.
“The economy would struggle to cope with further shock and disruption, and there could not be appropriate parliamentary scrutiny for a decision of this magnitude.
“It’s clear that there has been nothing like the progress necessary in key areas including fisheries, the European Court of Justice, and the level playing field.
“These are all issues dealt with in the political Declaration and the UK government risks being seen to negotiate in bad faith.
“All of our resources must be focused on tackling coronavirus.
“The Tory government must show it understands the huge economic damage being done to the economy, put these Brexit negotiations on hold and put an extension in place.”