THE SNP’s Westminster leader has said it would be the “height of irresponsibility and economic self-harm” if Theresa May does not categorically rule out a no-deal Brexit today.

Ahead of the Prime Minister’s expected statement on her Plan B, Ian Blackford warned that with the UK Government’s very own economic analysis setting out the devastating impact of the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal, Theresa May’s attempts to “run down the clock” must be stopped ahead of March 29 when the UK leaves the EU.

READ MORE: Theresa May to unveil Brexit plan B amid Cabinet turmoil

In a letter to the Prime Minister, the SNP MP stated that mere “cosmetic changes” by the Prime Minister to a deal which was rejected by Parliament would be unacceptable, and that she must heed calls to halt the Article 50 process, bring forward legislation for a second EU referendum, and rule out no-deal.

“It is becoming increasingly concerning that rather than listening to other options the Prime Minister is instead closing them down, intent on cutting off any alternatives and leaving a false choice between her defeated dead deal and a disastrous no-deal,” he said.

“It would be the height of irresponsibility and economic self-harm if Theresa May does not categorically rule out a no-deal Brexit today. Her attempt to run down the clock must be stopped.

“Analysis published by the UK Government and the Bank of England has set out clearly the catastrophic consequences crashing out of the EU without a deal will have on the economy, jobs and living standards.

“Rather than driving the UK carelessly to the cliff-edge, Theresa May must press the brakes and take heed of those warnings.”

He added: “It is clear that under every scenario Brexit will leave us all worse off – there is no such thing as a good Brexit. The Prime Minister’s deal will make us poorer and will take Scotland out of not just the EU but the Customs Union and Single Market, which is eight times the size of the UK alone. The Prime Minister must immediately suspend the Article 50 process, table legislation for a second EU referendum and take no-deal off the table now. She must now act in the national interest, not in the interests of the Tory party which has driven us to this point.”

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Meanwhile, Labour backbencher David Lammy, pictured above, has warned his party’s leader Jeremy Corbyn he risks a split comparable to the SDP breakaway in the 1980s unless he backs a second EU referendum. “There is a small group in our party who are so frustrated, who have so much grievance, the fear is that they are going to go off and form another party,” he told Ridge On Sunday.

“I personally reject that. But the danger is that, just like 1983, a new party built around a relationship with Europe keeps the Labour Party out of power for a generation.”

READ MORE: Cross-party MPs hatch plan to prevent no-deal Brexit

Corbyn, who refused to meet the PM unless she had taken no deal off the table has accused ministers of wasting £171,000 an hour of taxpayers’ money in “unnecessary” preparations for a no-deal Brexit. He reaffirmed his refusal to meet May to discuss a way forward unless she is prepared to rule out a no-deal break. Labour said that over the last two Budgets, Chancellor Philip Hammond had assigned £4.2 billion to no-deal preparations – money which could have been used to support public services.

Of that, the party said £1.5 billion was being spent in the current financial year – the equivalent of £171,000 an hour. “We’re ready to talk to the Government and others in Parliament about a sensible alternative plan, but not while Theresa May is wasting £171,000 an hour of taxpayers’ money on dangerous and unnecessary no-deal brinkmanship,” Corbyn said. “May’s no-deal threat is empty and hugely expensive, wasting billions of pounds we should be spending on vital public services.”

Hear what The National editor Callum Baird and columnist Paul Kavanagh (the Wee Ginger Dug) have to say on this week's political developments ...