Rennie: Don’t accept a blank cheque Brexit

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP will this afternoon challenge all parties to not accept a “blank cheque Brexit” by joining his party’s calls for a referendum on the terms of the deal the UK Government negotiates.

An amendment tabled by Mr Rennie, to be debated at the Scottish Parliament this afternoon, will invite other parties to declare whether they would support their MPs voting against the triggering of Article 50 should the UK Government fail to guarantee a referendum on the terms of the deal. 

Commenting, Mr Rennie said: 

“Voting for departure is not the same as voting for a destination. What started with a democratic decision can’t end with a stitch up and a deal being imposed on the British people that nobody voted for. 

“The Conservative Government still doesn’t have a clue what Brexit actually means. In this context, at the end of the process, people should have the option to vote for the deal the UK Government reached with Brussels or to remain in Europe. It would be undemocratic for opposition parties and Tory backbenchers to endorse a blank cheque Brexit. 

“Liberal Democrats won’t accept a blank cheque Brexit. This afternoon I am inviting other parties to join us in stating that they will vote against Article 50 being triggered without a guarantee of a referendum on the terms of our exit.” 


Mr Rennie’s amendment, selected by the Presiding Officer for debate this afternoon, is as follows: 

“[believes that the UK Government should seek to maintain] the UK and Scotland’s place in the single market; considers that voting for a departure is not the same as voting for a destination, and, with the ongoing contradictions and absence of any certainty within the Brexit Conservative administration over issues, including the single market, calls on the UK Government to agree to a referendum on the final terms of the deal that it negotiates and for all Scottish MPs in the House of Commons to vote against the triggering of Article 50 unless this is guaranteed.”

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