SHADOW chancellor John McDonnell MP has said Labour would not do a power-deal with the SNP but invited opposition MPs to “gather” around the flag of their alternative Brexit plans.

On the second of his two-day Scotland visit, McDonnell attended a conference on the economy in Airdrie.

Speaking to reporters before the event, he said: “We’ve planted this flag around an alternative proposal and we are going to try to rally support around that. There may be other ideas that come up but up until now the debate has been focused on Theresa May’s deal, which people know there is no support for.”

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McDonnell continued to rule out the possibility of any formal negotiations with the SNP and insisted discussions with the Scottish Government were unlikely to evolve.

The National:

He said: “We had a meeting with Nicola Sturgeon two weeks ago which was an exchange of views, that’s all. The exchange of views was that all the main opposition parties are opposed to a no-deal, apart from the DUP.”

He added the meeting was “simply an exchange of views”.

Also refusing to say if Labour had plans to offer indyref2 within a manifesto, he said “there will be debate on those issues and the manifesto will be developed in the normal way”.

The shadow chancellor rejected the idea that Labour were proposing a Norway-style model, instead underlining Labour’s proposals of securing permanent customs union membership, more influence on trade and the protection of employment, environmental and consumer rights were part of their “own design proposal”.

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McDonnell added he believed Labour could “negotiate frictionless trade” but their proposal “stood in its own right” apart from European Free Trade Association arrangements.

If Theresa May’s vote does indeed lose on Tuesday McDonnell believes the fall-out would create a “vacuum, which we [Labour] can fill and there is an opportunity for a more constructive debate”.

Questioned on the opinions of other parties towards Labour’s alternative plans, he said: “We have laid them out there and we will see if they respond to it. The onus is on them. We have not had any dialogue, we’ve simply put the proposals out there, planted the flag and we will see who rallies to it.”

He refused to accept he had contradicted the stance of Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard by previously suggesting an Article 30 could appear on a future Labour Party manifesto.

The National:

During a Glasgow press conference last week, he said: “If [the need for permission for a Scottish independence vote] arises then we will consider it then, but it’s a hypothetical at the moment.”

Leonard has consistently denied this would be a possibility stating that he would “fight with every sinew” to persuade Corbyn to deny another referendum.

McDonnell said: “Richard and I are on the same page. We oppose a referendum. It is a complete distraction.”

In response to the shadow chancellor’s visit, an SNP spokesperson said: “The Scottish Parliament has voted overwhelmingly against the false choice of Theresa May’s bad deal or no deal – and the UK Government is staring defeat in the face this Tuesday.”

They added there is a “real opportunity to look at real alternatives” like a second referendum or staying in the single market.

They went on: “Those are the serious options which protect Scotland’s interests that we’re happy to discuss with all other parties.”