Wed 21 Nov, 2018

This would delight the extremist free-market wing of the Tory party, but would put Scottish jobs and our environment at risk. Patrick Harvie MSP

Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie MSP today (21 Nov) warned that the UK Government's proposed Brexit deal is "ideologically loaded" in favour of the "hard right" of the Tory party, risking protections for Scotland's workers and the environment.

During today's meeting of Holyrood's Finance & Constitution Committee, Mr Harvie questioned Scottish Constitutional Relations Secretary Mike Russell on the political assumptions underlying the deal.

Mr Russell agreed that "the type of push you're talking about is taking place."

Patrick Harvie MSP, Scottish Greens co-convener, said:

"Theresa May's draft withdrawal agreement proposes avoiding a hard border in Ireland by creating an EU-UK customs union, including 'level playing field' commitments between the EU and the UK. But upon close inspection these measures are ideologically loaded. There are stringent requirements on state aid yet there is far less requirement for the UK to follow the body of EU legislation and court decisions that have helped protect workers and our environment, and these protections would inevitably become comparatively weaker after Brexit.

“In short, government action to protect the public interest will be restricted, but the private sector will be given a much freer hand. This is an inherently right wing framework that sets the tone for the future.

“It is exactly the approach the UK will try to impose on Scotland too, through the 'common frameworks' which will restrict how devolved powers can be used. This would delight the extremist free-market wing of the Tory party, but would put Scottish jobs and our environment at risk.

“All of this underlines the need for a People's Vote so we can stop this mess."

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