Ruth Davidson says she will not back Boris Johnson on no-deal Brexit

PUBLISHED: 13:24 28 July 2019 | UPDATED: 13:24 28 July 2019

Boris Johnson and Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson embrace after an EU referendum debate. (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Boris Johnson and Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson embrace after an EU referendum debate. (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson says new prime minister Boris Johnson has her support - but not on a no-deal Brexit.

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Davidson also insisted that her position in the Scottish parliament exists independently of Westminster and that she does not have to sign any no-deal pledge to continue to serve.

Writing in the Mail On Sunday, Davidson said: "I hope beyond measure that the new prime minister is successful in getting an agreement with the EU so that he can go back to the House of Commons and get the majority backing he needs. He has my full support in those efforts.

"Where I differ with the UK government is on the question of a no-deal Brexit.

"When I was debating against the pro-Brexit side in 2016, I don't remember anybody saying we should crash out of the EU with no arrangements in place to help maintain the vital trade that flows uninterrupted between Britain and the European Union.

"I don't think the UK government should pursue a no-deal Brexit, and if it comes to it, I won't support it.

"I wrote to tell the former prime minister Theresa May that last year and I confirmed my position to her successor when I spoke to him last week.

"As leader of the party in Scotland, my position exists independently of government. I don't have to sign a no-deal pledge to continue to serve."

Davidson also rejected any suggestions of the party in Scotland splitting from the UK, with the idea having previously been mooted around the time of the last Scottish Tory leadership race.

"We are a devolved party, just as Scotland is devolved," said Davidson.

"As Scottish leader, I am in charge of policy, campaigning, staffing, funding, management, candidate selection and everything else that goes with fighting elections and communicating with voters.

"This model has served us well as, since it was introduced in 2011, we have more than doubled our seats at Holyrood, added more than 100 councillors across the country and returned our largest number of MPs to the House of Commons for more than 30 years.

"So to the commentators making a living out of reviving this idea, I am pleased the kids won't go without shoes. But my message is simple: not on my watch."

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