Nicola Sturgeon tears into the senior Tories who threatened to resign over Brexit

images of David Mundell, Ruth Davisdon and Nicola Sturgeon
Brian Finlay

Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon has torn into Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson and UK secretary of state for Scotland David Mundell.

Both Davidson and Mundell have threatened to resign from their posts over a Brexit deal that may “undermine the integrity” of the UK. Davidson and Mundell said they won’t support any Brexit deal that includes different status for Northern Ireland. It’s the same stance DUP leader Arlene Foster adopted.

On 14 October, Sturgeon beautifully exposed Davidson and Mundell for their “bizarre position”:

And she called their bluff, questioning whether they have the “gumption” to resign.

Davidson and Mundell threaten to resign

Davidson and Mundell stated in a joint letter to Theresa May that they wouldn’t support a Brexit deal that had different arrangements for Northern Ireland. They claim separate arrangements will strengthen the case for Scottish independence.

In the letter, Davidson and Mundell said:

Having fought just four years ago to keep our country together, the integrity of our United Kingdom remains the single most important issue for us in these negotiations

They continued:

We could not support any deal that creates a border of any kind in the Irish Sea and undermines the Union or leads to Northern Ireland having a different relationship with the EU than the rest of the UK, beyond what currently exists

A source close to Mundell told the BBC that resignation would be the obvious conclusion “If you find yourself not agreeing with government policy”. And a source close to Davidson told the BBC this issue was a “red line”.

The DUP leader Arlene Foster has adopted a similar stance. As reported in the Belfast Telegraph, the DUP will not accept a deal where there is “divergence which separates Northern Ireland from rest of UK”.

The reaction to the resignation threats

Many seem to agree with Sturgeon.

Scottish independence supporter Alan Ferrier, for example, schooled one Scottish Tory supporter who tried to defend the senior Tories:

Scottish Labour MP for Edinburgh South Ian Murray called Davidson and Mundell’s actions “utterly contemptible”:

SNP MP for Edinburgh South West Joanna Cherry pointed out that both Davidson and Mundell are backing the “ghastly DUP”:

And SNP MSP and cabinet secretary for government business and constitutional relations at Holyrood Mike Russell didn’t hold back:

The Tories’ opponents are clearly not falling for this daft charade.

And finally…

Just in case there was any ambiguity out there over Sturgeon’s mandate to hold another independence referendum, Ferrier offered a handy guide:

After this Scottish Tory stunt, Scotland could become even more impatient with Davidson and Mundell. But some might say having Davidson and Mundell standing down wouldn’t be a bad thing.

If only Mundell had threatened to resign after his ‘Brexit bonanza‘ promise; a promise he made to the Scottish Parliament which didn’t come to fruition.

And Davidson should have threatened to resign when the UK government took the Scottish government to the Supreme Court. It did so over the compromised UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Legal Continuity) (Scotland) Bill. The Scottish Parliament refused to give consent to the UK government’s EU Withdrawal Bill in May 2018. The Continuity Bill (Scotland) was the Scottish government’s alternative.

If that had happened, perhaps Davidson and Mundell would have a shred of credibility left. This is their party’s mess. They can’t cry wolf now.

Get Involved!

– Join us, so we can keep bringing you the news that matters.

– Think Brexit is a disaster? Join the campaign for a People’s Vote

– If you think Scotland should be an independent country,  join the SNP, the Scottish Green Party or the Scottish Socialist Party

Featured Image via: Scot TV/ YouTube and Ninian Reid/Flickr and STV News/YouTube

We need your help ...

The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.

Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.

We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.

Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed

Brian Finlay