Brendan O’Hara MP: The View from Westminster

Brendan O'Hara MP.

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There is a ridiculous irony to Theresa May’s call for political opponents to unite, across the party divide to deliver a Brexit that works for everyone.

Her call for unity is a consequence of her own arrogance and hubris in calling an unnecessary general election; in which she went from a comfortable majority, to buying off the DUP with £1.5 billion of public money to save her government.

The irony is that just a few months ago, the Scottish government approached the Tories with exactly such a proposal; one in which we could all work together and the view of Scottish people, who overwhelmingly voted to Remain in the EU could be accommodated.

The proposals, in the document Scotland’s Place in Europe, stated the two governments should work to protect Scotland’s place in the single market and ensure that key industries, including farming and aquaculture are safeguarded post-Brexit.

Theresa May had a parliamentary majority and the proposals were given short shrift.

With her future career prospects looking pretty desperate and the minority government clinging to power suddenly the prime minister is in listening mode for cross-party consensus.

I welcome that fact that the Tories are now prepared to work with others because Scotland needs a bespoke solution to the enormous problems Brexit will bring.

We need a Brexit that recognises that 85 per cent of Scottish agricultural land is classified by the EU as a less-favoured-area, the category which attracts lifeline subsidies.

We need a Brexit in which the powers returning from Europe, including agriculture go to the Scottish government. If they are subsumed into the wider UK, the consequences for Scottish farming will be disastrous.

I welcome the fact that, albeit belatedly, the prime minister wants to talk. I just hope she wants to listen too.

Brendan O’Hara. c14brendan01no_brendanohara