Russell says Brexit deal dead, Holyrood to vote

The UK Government’s proposed Brexit deal is “essentially dead” because of “self-imposed draconian red lines,” according to the Scottish Government’s Constitutional Relations Secretary Michael Russell.

In a statement to the Scottish Parliament, Russell called the draft EU withdrawal agreement “unacceptable,” saying it does not allow Scotland continued membership of the European Single Market.

He said the Scottish Government will work with others to ensure a better deal.

The Scottish Government’s policy is that, short of staying in the EU, remaining in the Single Market and Customs Union is the best outcome for Scotland and the UK as a whole.

Russell also confirmed that the Scottish Parliament would be asked to vote on the deal before any vote in the House of Commons.

Russell said: “Brexit isn’t a better future – it is a backward step into an imagined past.

“We must acknowledge that this deal is unacceptable to Scotland and her citizens.

“It therefore cannot be supported by this Government.

“This deal is the inevitable result of a series of self-imposed draconian red lines. It is now essentially dead.

“We must find a way to work together and ensure that our country is not failed by a disastrous Brexit, but enabled to flourish by choosing a different way forward.

“I can confirm today that the Scottish Government will bring the deal, if agreed at the Brussels Summit on 25 November, to this chamber for a vote, before a vote takes place in the House of Commons.”