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SNP to table amendment to ‘stop the clock’ on Brexit

Ian Blackford is to table a motion seeking an extension to Article 50 Photo: House of Commons/PA

The SNP is to call for the clock to be stopped on Brexit when it lodges an amendment to the Prime Minister’s blueprint.

MPs have been tabling amendments in Parliament to Theresa May’s deal, which was rejected at Westminster by an overwhelming 230 votes earlier this month.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford is to table an amendment on Monday calling on Mrs May to note the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and Commons all voted “overwhelmingly” to reject her deal.

It will also seek an extension to Article 50 – the mechanism which triggered the process of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU – call for a no-deal Brexit to be ruled out, and demand that Scotland should not be taken out of the EU “against its will”.

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The SNP said its MPs will also back the amendments tabled by Labour’s Yvette Cooper and Conservative former attorney general Dominic Grieve.

Mr Grieve’s would give MPs powers to take control of the parliamentary agenda on a series of days in the run-up to the official date of EU withdrawal on March 29 to pass resolutions on the way ahead.

A cross-party group of MPs, including Ms Cooper and Tory former minister Nick Boles, is seeking to give time for a Bill to suspend the Article 50 withdrawal process if there is no new deal with Brussels by the end of February.

Mr Blackford said: “With just a matter of weeks before the Brexit date, the Prime Minister must change course before it is too late.

“The Tories think they can do anything they like to Scotland and get away with it, but in this crucial week the wishes of the people of Scotland must not be ignored.

“If, as the Prime Minister claims, the UK is a partnership of equals, then she must stop putting the interests of the right-wing of her party ahead of the interests of the people of Scotland.

“To protect jobs and living standards we need to stop the clock on Brexit and the Prime Minister must stop threatening the disaster of no deal.”

A UK Government spokeswoman said: “‎We are leaving the EU on March 29. The choice is between a deal or no-deal. It’s time for all MPs to get behind the Prime Minister’s deal and avoid a no-deal.

“We are engaging extensively with businesses and people in Scotland, as well as with the Scottish Government.”

The amendments will be voted on by MPs on Tuesday.