SNP would ‘undo Brexit as far as possible’ if election returns hung Parliament

The SNP would “undo Brexit as far as possible” if the next general election results in a hung parliament, the party has said.

Analysis of England’s local authority election results indicates Labour could fall short of a majority in the Commons when the UK next goes to the polls.

SNP EU accession spokesman Alyn Smyth said his party would demand the UK has a close relationship with EU, in negotiations with a minority Labour government.

He said ahead of seeking to row back on Brexit, the SNP’s key demands for the relationship between the UK and the EU would be to secure single market membership and restore free movement.

The SNP is one of the only major parties to support rejoining the EU, as Labour has ruled out any Brexit reversal and the Liberal Democrats have dropped calls for a rerun of the EU referendum.

Mr Smith said: “Brexit has been a disaster for Scotland and the UK – costing our economy billions, damaging the NHS, and contributing to the cost of living crisis – and there’s been a conspiracy of silence on it from Labour and the Tories.

“While independence is the only way for Scotland to regain our EU membership, the SNP could hold the balance of power at the next election and we would use our influence to undo Brexit as far as possible and demand the UK has a close relationship with the EU.

“With all the signs pointing to a hung parliament, the SNP could force a minority Labour government to rejoin the EU single market, reintroduce free movement and transfer power for an independence referendum to Edinburgh, so Scotland can regain our place in Europe.”

Alyn Smith
Alyn Smith said Brexit has been a disaster for Scotland (Jane Barlow/PA)

He added: “The SNP would also push for the UK to rejoin Erasmus and Horizon Europe, and defend the European Court of Justice, while ensuring Scotland has the power to escape Brexit entirely with independence.

“At the next election, voting SNP is the only way to beat the Tories in Scotland – and a strong team of SNP MPs can get the best deal for Scotland, including powers over an independence referendum, a close relationship with Europe and making the cost of living crisis a key priority.”

The vast majority of Scots believe the UK Government is handling Brexit badly, according the latest YouGov poll on May 1 which found 84% of Scots and 67% of people across the UK think this.

Only 9% of Scots and 22% of people across the UK told pollsters they believe the UK Government is handling Brexit well.

Shadow Scottish secretary Ian Murray said: “This is a desperate bid for relevance from an out of touch and scandal-hit party.

“Yet again the SNP is trying to talk up the Tories because they are terrified of a Labour government.

“Only Labour can fix the mess the Tories have made of Brexit and build a stronger trading relationship with Europe.

“At the next election we will be focused on booting the Tories out of Downing Street and delivering the change our country desperately needs.

“Labour will not do any deals with the SNP under any circumstances and it is Tory fantasy politics to pretend otherwise.”