Government prepared to make everyone poorer over Brexit, SNP claims

PUBLISHED: 12:59 31 January 2018 | UPDATED: 12:59 31 January 2018

Ian Blackford, the SNP's leader at Westminster


The SNP has accused the government of being "prepared to make everyone poorer" and called for leadership over Brexit.

Ian Blackford, the party's leader at Westminster, spoke out after leaked analysis showed the economy would not grow as much as current forecasts predict under a number of scenarios for the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

Cabinet Office minister David Lidington told Mr Blackford at Prime Minister's Questions that Britain would leave the single market and customs union as a matter of legality.

He added that Theresa May wanted to negotiate a new partnership with the EU to continue frictionless trade.

"I must say I'm surprised at the minister because there's not a question of legality. We're going to be in a transitional deal, we'll still be in the single market with the EU," said Mr Blackford.

"This is a government in crisis and an international embarrassment.

"The chancellor, the Scottish secretary, the Scottish Conservatives, the home secretary have all supported membership of the single market.

"Despite this, the government is still prepared to make everyone poorer. Where is the leadership?"

Mr Lidington replied: "The leadership which he wants was set out very clearly both at Lancaster House and then again in Florence, and the prime minister will be making further speeches on these issues in the weeks and months to come.

"But can I just say to him that the most important single market to the people of Scotland is the single market of the United Kingdom."

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