NICOLA Sturgeon has said “no thanks” to Boris Johnson’s trade deal as she turned to the language of the Better Together campaign to hit back against Labour and the Tories joining forces to back the agreement.

The First Minister was responding to claims the SNP support leaving the European Union without a deal because the party’s MPs will not back the agreement when it goes to a vote in the Commons tomorrow.

She argued the Tory and Labour position is to say the choice Scotland faces is between two options, neither backed by the country’s voters – who voted to remain in the EU by 62% in the 2016 referendum.

The First Minister added it was “time to build a future based on what Scotland votes for”.

She wrote on Twitter: “Tory/Labour view is that all Scotland can aspire to is a ‘choice’ between a terrible deal we didn’t vote for and ‘no deal’ we didn’t vote for, and even then our view only counts if it accords with Westminster’s. No thanks. Time to build a future based on what Scotland votes for.”

Earlier the SNP denied they would be supporting a No-Deal Brexit by voting against the trade agreement Johnson struck with the EU.

Ian Blackford, the party’s Westminster leader, said the SNP’s alternative was for Scotland to rejoin the EU as an independent member state.

The MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber confirmed on Sunday that SNP MPs would reject the UK Government’s deal when it goes to a vote in the Commons. But the move led to accusations the party is effectively backing exiting the current single market transition period without an agreement from this Friday.

The claim was put to Blackford in an interview on Times Radio yesterday morning. He responded: “We are certainly not supporting No Deal. No Deal is something that would be a disaster for all of us ... The best deal that we’ve got is the one we currently have where we’re still in the single market and customs union. All the economic evidence, including from the UK Government, is that we are all going to be poorer with this deal.”

READ MORE: Here's why the SNP cannot be complicit and vote for Boris Johnson's Brexit deal

He added that while people in England and Wales were getting what they voted for – to leave the EU – and that Northern Ireland was getting a special deal with greater access to the European single market and customs union, Remain-voting Scotland was “getting nothing”.

He continued: “The alternative for us is to make sure we have an independence referendum on the premise of an independent Scotland joining the European Union, keeping our access to the single market and customs union and giving us the continuation of the free movement of people, access to the Erasmus scheme and so on. So it’s about what the alternative is for Scotland. It’s not about No Deal.”

Scottish Government analysis estimates a Brexit of the type negotiated by Johnson out of the European single market could cut Scotland’s GDP by around 6.1% – costing Scotland more than £9 billion, or the equivalent of £1600 per person by 2030.

Blackford supports an independence referendum being held next year, telling the Sunday National last month that the “referendum will take place and we need to plan that that referendum must take place in 2021”.

The majority of MPs across all the parties are expected to dial in remotely to the historic debate on the trade agreement after the Commons Speaker urged them to stay at home because of the current strict coronavirus restrictions and made clear that those attending in person would not be given priority to speak.

​The legislation needed to implement the deal is likely to pass comfortably with Tory hardline Brexiteers set to back the new agreement despite some earlier misgivings.

Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, said last week that the party would back the agreement in what he described as a “tough but necessary decision” between this deal or no deal. However, a rebellion is expected in the party and some shadow ministers are expected to quit.

The SNP has also raised concerns the deal fails to secure full access to EU security protocols, including the European Arrest Warrant and the law enforcement organisations Europol and Eurojust. As a result the SNP warned Scotland and the UK would be heading into 2021 as a less safe country.

Earlier this year the National Crime Agency head of operations Steve Rodhouse said “his number one Christmas wish” was that negotiators managed to keep the European Arrest Warrant.

Commenting, the SNP’s shadow home secretary Joanna Cherry QC said: 

“We are out of the European Arrest Warrant with only a poor second best as a replacement and our access to key agencies such as Europol and Eurojust has been drastically reduced  - jeopardising our future security and the safety of people across Scotland, the UK and Europe. This will be one of the most damaging aspects of deal that has now been confirmed.

"Such data sharing as we retain will be slower as not in real time and information exchanges between police forces abroad and at home will be significantly reduced.

"To top it all the limited future co-operation on justice and law enforcement matters which has been secured is dependent on the EU making a data adequacy ruling in the UK’s favour within 4 months. Plus, if the UK seeks to terminate its participation in the European Convention on Human Rights or key parts of it all security and law enforcement co-operation between the UK and the EU will be suspended.  And we all know the Tories have a tenuous commitment to human rights and the rule of law.

"The UK Government’s incompetence has confirmed what the SNP has warned about for months, that people across the UK will be waking up on 1st January in a less safe country. Organised crime gangs including people smugglers will be turning their eyes to the UK right now and seeing vulnerability and criminal opportunity.
“The SNP repeatedly called on the Tory government to put their shameless posturing to one side and back continued access to the European Arrest Warrant as a priority in order to help keep people safe from trafficking both here and across Europe. These calls have been ignored.

“We used to be able participate in full sharing of vital information to keep people safe from crimes such as human trafficking – the Tories decided that wasn’t as important as their ideological pursuit of a hard Brexit.
“The Scottish Government is committed to tackling human trafficking – and has given the police new powers to help fight it but the Tories’ hard Brexit has undermined these efforts.

“It is clearer than ever that the only way Scotland can best ensure the safety of its citizens will be to re-join these vital cross border agencies by becoming an independent country inside the EU.”