Theresa May faces a rebellion among her Scottish MPs over the increasing prospect of a three-month extension to the Brexit implementation period as speculation mounts over the Prime Minister’s future.
MP for Moray, Douglas Ross. Picture: SNS The Conservative leader will hold a crunch meeting with restive backbenchers this week amid anger over the government’s handling of negotiations with the EU.
One unnamed Tory MP suggested she should “bring her own noose” while others said Mrs May is entering a “killing zone” and that “assassination is in the air”. Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab called for unity among his fellow MPs yesterday, urging them to “play for the team” and “hold their nerve”. He also suggested the Brexit implementation period – due to end in December 2020 – could be extended by three months.
But with Mrs May’s minority administration already facing a struggle to secure the votes of enough MPs to get any deal endorsed in the Commons, Scottish Conservative MPs are now warning they will not back any extension to the implementation period. They say such a delay would bind Scotland’s fishermen to the common fisheries policy.
Douglas Ross, Conservative MP for Moray, said a three-month extension would be unacceptable to him and indicated he and his Scottish colleagues would abstain in a vote on the deal.
He said: “I was disappointed when the implementation period was extended until December 2020 and I think it’s important that we give a very clear message. “I’ve given that in Moray to my constituents in coastal communities such as Buckie that I cannot support a deal that keeps us in the common fisheries policy any longer than December 2020.”
Asked whether there is unanimity among Scottish Tory MPs on the issue, Mr Ross added: “That is my understanding.” He added: “I do think there is unanimity across Scotland that people see fishing as a particularly important negotiation for the Brexit negotiations and that means we must come out of the common fisheries policy.”
Scottish Secretary David Mundell said last week he would not support any extension to the implementation period.