THE Scottish Tories have comprehensively abandoned Ruth Davidson’s opposition to a No-Deal Brexit to fall in behind Boris Johnson.

Interim leader Jackson Carlaw signalled he was not in favour of a further Article 50 extension if a new deal was not agreed by the middle of next month.

In an interview yesterday he said it would be “far more damaging” to continue with the “endless drift”, and said he would back the Prime Minister in leaving the EU on October 31, even if there was no deal agreed with Brussels.

It comes just two months after Davidson (below), who resigned as Scottish Tory leader in August, said her party “won’t support” a No-Deal Brexit.

Asked about the change of policy, Carlaw told the BBC: “Ruth has got very firm views. Everybody has views on Brexit.

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“My preference is for a negotiated way out. It always has been. But I’m not someone who has argued that the roof will fall in on the world in an alternative scenario if we have properly prepared for it.

“I think the effort now to properly prepare for it is underway. There are a whole series of other agreements that will apply irrespective of whether we come out of the European Union with the broader comprehensive deal that we all want to see happen.

“Far more damaging is the endless drift, three years after we voted, three years of businesses not knowing whether they’re going to end up.

“Another six-month extension does not guarantee that anything will be any different at the end of it. At some point you have to say, we have to move on, and I think we are at that point now.”

Johnson has insisted he will not request a further Article 50 extension from the European Council despite the recently passed Benn Act which requires him to do if there is no agreement on a deal by October 19.

The move by Carlaw follows previous concerns among Scottish Tories about Johnson’s support for a No-Deal Brexit.

Writing in July, Davidson said: “When I was debating against the pro-Brexit side in 2016, I don’t remember anybody saying we should crash out of the EU with no arrangements in place to help maintain the vital trade that flows uninterrupted between Britain and the European Union.

“I don’t think the Government should pursue a No-Deal Brexit and, if it comes to it, I won’t support it.”

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The U-turn also comes after Scottish Tory MSPs backed Johnson’s rival Jeremy Hunt in this summer’s Tory leadership contest amid fears Johnson would be toxic among voters in Scotland and lose all 13 of the party’s Westminster seats. There has also been renewed discussion of the Scottish party breaking away from the UK one.

Carlaw also addressed his party’s faithful yesterday at the Conservative conference in Manchester suggesting that if the Tories won the 2021 Holyrood election an independence referendum would never happen.

“The Scottish Conservatives will say no to any referendum the SNP proposes. Not because we fear the result – but because we fear what it will do to Scotland,” he said.

“Dividing us again. Holding us back. Trapping us in a constitutional time warp. So, in 2021, we’ll see Nicola Sturgeon at the ballot box. With this message. Put your divisive, backward-facing, unwanted referendum on the table if you want to. Our message from people all over Scotland will be simple, Scotland’s not for turning; vote for us and together we’ll dump that referendum for good.”

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He also claimed Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP “blew” their chances on winning independence in 2014 saying “you had your chance five years ago, you lost, you blew it, now let Scotland move on”.

One passage in his speech suggested Carlaw may be positioning himself to succeed Davidson as the Scottish Tories’ permanent leader.

He said: “OK sure, Nicola Sturgeon cuts a figure as she jets around the world promoting independence yet all the while the people’s business suffers.

“My ambition will be to travel anywhere and everywhere, exclusively to promote Scottish business, to have a Scottish Government and First Minister focused entirely on putting the people’s business first.”

During his speech he also attacked Labour and – amid the threat of increasing support among Tory Remain supporters – the Lib Dems. He said: “There are only two genuine political choices now in Scotland. The SNP or the Conservatives.”

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SNP MP Pete Wishart said: “It’s no surprise the Scottish Tories have fallen into line behind their Westminster bosses and are now card-carrying do-or-die Brexiteers. Having started out as a Remain-supporting party – and having expressed serious concerns about the prospect of Boris Johnson becoming PM – the so-called

leadership of the Scottish Tories have steadily abandoned all of their principles to fully sign up to Boris Johnson’s No-Deal Brexit – with all the disastrous consequences that would have for Scotland’s jobs, our economy and our public services.

“No wonder the Scottish Tories are running scared of the verdict of the people of Scotland – whether that be in a General Election or in the option of choosing a better future as an independent nation.”