SCOTTISH Labour are in meltdown over the Brexit trade deal, after Richard Leonard seemingly sent out a press release setting out the party's position without having first read it. 

His MSPs are effectively set to vote against the agreement this afternoon, when Holyrood is asked to give its consent.

But the party in Westminster - including their one Scottish MP - will vote for the deal.

In a statement sent out last night in Leonard’s name, Labour said their MSPs would be voting “to deny legislative consent to Boris Johnson's Brexit deal”. 

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But this morning, in a further release, sent out under Anas Sarwar’s name, that had changed. Now Labour MSPs will be opposing the consent motion to express “deep dissatisfaction with the process in symbolic votes". 

The change in tone comes after a sizeable rebellion at a meeting of MSPs this morning.

Leonard’s frontbenchers were reportedly furious that the release had not set out his support for Keir Starmer’s decision to back the deal. 

"This takes us to a new level of incompetence," one Labour source told The Times. 

Starmer was pushed on the votes during the Commons debate on the trade deal. 

The SNP MP David Linden pointed out that Labour had “two parliamentarians in Edinburgh South – one in the Scottish Parliament and one in Westminster.”

He added: “At 4 o’clock this afternoon, the member of the Scottish Parliament will vote against the deal and his member of the Westminster Parliament here will vote for the deal. How does he square that circle?”

Starmer responded: “(Linden) knows very well it’s a different vote.”

He added: “It is a completely different vote on a different issue.”

In his initial release, Leonard said: “Boris Johnson promised more than a year ago that he would ‘get Brexit done’, and that his deal was ‘oven ready’ – yet his shambolic government is racing to ratify its half-baked Brexit deal the day before the end of the transition period.

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“There is no co-production here; no engagement with industry, trade unions or devolved governments on the terms of this trade deal, and barely any parliamentary scrutiny let alone public participation.

“It is our duty to stand up for Scotland in Parliament tomorrow."

This morning Sarwar, Labour’s constitution spokesperson, said: “The agreement falls far short of what the Tories promised and the UK Government has failed to recognise the importance of the devolved legislatures, which is why Labour MSPs and our colleagues in Wales are expressing our deep dissatisfaction with the process in symbolic votes. 

“But the reality is that at this late stage we are faced with a binary choice between a deal or no deal, which is why our colleagues in the UK Labour Party are acting in the national interest at Westminster and reject a no-deal scenario.

“Unlike the SNP, we will do nothing to risk a No-Deal Brexit. This is grown-up politics in contrast with the nationalists’ game-playing."