SCOTLAND and Wales will today unite to reject Theresa May’s approach to leaving the European Union.

With 24 days to Brexit on March 29, the Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales will vote simultaneously on a motion declaring opposition to the EU divorce deal agreed by the UK Government.

The motion states that a no deal outcome would be unacceptable and calls for an extension to Article 50 to delay the Brexit process and find the best way forward to protect Scotland, Wales and the UK as a whole.

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Scottish Brexit Secretary Michael Russell said: “This is an unprecedented event: the first time in 20 years of devolution that the Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales have debated the same motion simultaneously.

“We are taking this historic step to send a strong message to the UK Government that it must stop pursuing such a disastrous course of action.

“The Prime Minister’s deal will cause major, lasting damage to jobs, living standards and public services such as the NHS and should be voted down. The UK Government must also stop using the threat of a catastrophic No Deal outcome to blackmail the UK Parliament into accepting her deeply damaging plans.

“An extension that stops the clock on Brexit would allow time for agreement to be reached on a better way forward, which the Scottish Government believes should be a second EU referendum with Remain on the ballot paper.”

The National: Scottish Brexit secretary Mike Russell described it as an 'unprecedented event'Scottish Brexit secretary Mike Russell described it as an 'unprecedented event'

May’s deal was overwhelmingly rejected by the Commons in a vote in January and since then the PM has been trying to seek concessions from the EU to the Irish backstop, the provision in the agreement to keep an open border in Ireland whatever the final Brexit outcome.

Tory Eurosceptics are opposed to the backstop as it would keep the UK tied to EU rules, preventing Britain from striking new trade deals across the world – one of the main reasons why Brexiteers campaigned to leave the bloc.

There have been attempts by the UK Government to ask the EU to reopen the backstop arrangement in the deal, but the EU have refused. It emerged yesterday that Attorney General Geoffrey Cox faced criticism from Conservative Brexiteers amid reports he has shelved attempts to try and put a time limit or unilateral exit clause on the backstop.

Ahead of today’s debate, Scottish Greens Parliamentary Co-Leader Patrick Harvie said: “It’s astonishing that nearly three years after the EU referendum, and with the final days counting down until the self-imposed deadline, the UK is still facing utter uncertainty over what’s about to happen.

“The Government which has brought this crisis about, and repeatedly failed to face down its extremist elements, is surely the most incompetent in history.

“There can be no question now the process must be halted, either by extending or revoking Article 50, and giving the public a chance to stop this mess and remain full members of the EU. That’s where our best interests lie, it’s what the people of Scotland voted for, and it’s what the Scottish Greens are committed to.”

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May will again seek to get MPs to support her deal next week and if they reject it, she will allow further votes on opposing a no deal and, if passed, a move to extend the Brexit timetable. If MPs vote to extend Article 50, the 27 EU countries will have to agree to a request from the UK .

Scottish Tory interim leader Jackson Carlaw MSP said: “At a time when most people want to see parties compromising in order to deliver an orderly Brexit, the SNP is still engaged in game-playing and stunts.

“This debate has little to do with moving Scotland and the UK forward and everything to do with Nicola Sturgeon using Brexit to push for independence. That is her only Brexit priority. Labour – in Wales and Scotland – should know better than to play along.”