LONDON — Scottish people who vote for independence from the United Kingdom in a second independence referendum will be “like lemmings” about to jump off of a cliff, a Tory MP said today.
Conservative MP Richard Drax told Prime Minister Theresa May that Scottish independence would send the Scottish people to “economic ruin.””
“Does she agree with me that there is no greater importance today that the United kingdom should stand together?” Drax asked May in the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon.
He added: “Those calling for a second referendum are behaving totally irresponsible and leading the people of Scotland potentially over the cliff like lemmings to economic ruin.”
May replied that “my honourable friend is right.”
She continued: “As we start on the negotiations on the future relationship with the European union I believe it is important for us to do that as a United Kingdom. To come together and recognise the interests of the whole United Kingdom.”
May said earlier this week that a second Scottish independence referendum would “cause huge economic uncertainty at the worst possible time.”
However, the Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on Monday insisted that she will call a referendum unless May offers a “compromise” which would allow Scotland to continue to be a member of the Single Market after Brexit.
The Scottish government’s plans to stay in the single market while the rest of the UK leaves of the EU, which were published as part of a Scottish White Paper last year, have so far not received any response from Downing Street.
Asked why the government had not responded, a spokesperson said today that the prime minister would do so “in due course.”
However, the SNP’s leader in Westminster accused May of failing to live up her promise to involved the devolved administrations in the Brexit process.
“Last July we were told by the Prime Minister herself… that she would not trigger Article 50 until she had a UK-wide response,” Angus Robertson told May in the Commons.
“Will she pursue a UK-wide response or will she plough on regardless even though she knows what the consequences of that will be?” he asked.
May did not answer the question.
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