Scottish National Party MPs are set to vote against Boris Johnson’s post-Brexit trade agreement with the EU when it is voted on in the House of Commons on Wednesday.
The agreement, which comes following months of difficult negotiations, was reached on Christmas Eve – just days before the end of the transition period.
MPs are set to debate and vote on the deal on Wednesday 30 December, with Parliament being recalled during the festive holiday period. The Labour Party have said they will back the deal because it is better than no deal, while most Conservatives are expected to also back the deal and see it pass through the Commons.
The SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford has though said that the trade agreement represents a ‘disaster for Scotland’. Mr Blackford said the deal, which is set to come into force on 1 January 2021, will ‘impose mountains of red tape, added costs and barriers to trade for Scottish businesses.’
The majority of Scotland voted in favour of remaining in the European Union in the 2016 EU Referendum and since the UK vote to Leave, the case for Scottish independence has arguably been strengthened.
On Sunday, First Minister of Scotland and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon tweeted;
“The Brexit deal will pass regardless of how @theSNP votes. Scotland’s voice & interests are unimportant to the Westminster establishment. Far better then for our MPs to cast a principled vote against Brexit, as we get on with winning the positive case for independence.”
Meanwhile, both Jersey and Gurnsey have voted in favour of the UK/EU trade deal and regulations on sea fisheries, with state members meeting on Sunday to consider the involvement of the Channel Island’s in the trade agreement.
Businesses are being warned that they need to be prepared for the implementation of the terms of the trade deal from 1 January 2021, with there being fears of significant disruption at ports and elsewhere if businesses do not have the correct paperwork and processes in place.