TODAY, I will lead a cross-party delegation to Brussels to meet Michel Barnier to impress on the European Union to secure a deal with the UK that keeps us in the Single Market and the Customs Union.

62% of people in Scotland voted to remain in the European Union; for us in the SNP, that is at the top of our wish list. We don’t believe Scotland should be dragged out of Europe against its will. But if the Tory Government continues to ignore the will of the Scottish people, we must ensure that any deal that comes to the House of Commons will protect Scottish jobs and our economy. That means only a deal that secures Single Market and Customs Union membership will be acceptable to the SNP.

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As the clock ticks down, with just a few short months before the UK is scheduled to leave the EU, with chequers shredded, the UK has no plan to break the impasse. Instead the Prime Minister drives us even close to the cliff edge. Hamstrung by the extreme Brexiteers in her own Party, Theresa May is weak and wounded. While I will lead a cross-party group to Europe united in our quest to secure our economic future with Singe Market and Customs Union membership – the divisions within the Tory party are paralysing the UK Government. But we all are suffering as the extreme Brexiteers are holding the UK to ransom – leading all of us to the brink of a catastrophic no deal.

We have heard absolutely nothing of substance from the Tories and only piece meal offerings from a divided Labour party. Scotland needs more than jargon and rhetoric. Our businesses and industry need reassurance about the future. We need cast iron commitments that will protect jobs and living standards. That’s why the SNP will make it crystal clear to Mr Barnier and all in Europe, that we will not support a deal that falls short of that security through staying in the Customs Union and the Single Market.

While the Prime Minister continues to play games and the Labour Party squabble behind the scenes, we in the SNP will continue to build on our cross party consensus across Parliament when and where we can, to ensure that any deal that does not have membership of the Single Market and the Customs Union will not get through a vote in the House of Commons.

The time has come for a reality check. As the clock ticks down – everyone involved in the Brexit negiotiations must face facts – we need the right deal, a deal that protects our economy – and what those doing the deal need to know, is that they need to deliver a deal that we in Parliament can support. The SNP are firm, there is absolutely no way we will involve ourselves in a reckless game of risk that could lead to economic disaster across Scotland. In Edinburgh, in London and in Brussels the SNP will be standing up for Scotland – for jobs, for living standards and for all of our futures.