Galloway MSP Emma Harper critical of local MP Alister Jack’s Brexit stance

Efforts are still being made to secure a Brexit deal. Photo: Ian Georgeson
Efforts are still being made to secure a Brexit deal. Photo: Ian Georgeson

Dumfries & Galloway’s MP has come in for criticism for not only voting for Theresa May’s Brexit deal last month, but for voting against amendments last week which sought to ensure the UK did not crash out of the EU without a deal.

Alister Jack MP, who represents a region which voted decisively to remain in the European Union by 53-47, voted in Parliament against amendments, including one from one of his own colleagues in the Conservative Party, Dame Caroline Spelman MP, that MPs should reject the possibility of leaving the EU without a deal.

The UK Government’s own analysis says that a no deal Brexit cost hit Scotland’s GDP by as much as nine per cent, an impact the SNP believe could make Scots around £2,300 per person worse off by 2030.

Despite Mr Jack’s vote, Dame Spelman’s amendment, which is not legally binding, was approved in the House of Commons by 318 votes 310, thanks to the support of Scotland’s 35 SNP MPs.

Commenting on the votes, Emma Harper MSP said: “Analysis published by the Scottish Government, the UK Government and the Bank of England have all clearly set out the catastrophic consequences crashing out of the EU without a deal will have on the economy, jobs and living standards.

“Last month, Scotland Food and Drink, along with NFUS, QMS, the Scottish Food and Drink Federation, Scottish Bakers, SAOS and Scottish Salmon Producers, sent out an open joint letter that a no deal Brexit could cost Scotland’s food and drink sector at least £2 billion. These organisations represent businesses, many of which trade in Dumfries & Galloway, which are crucial to the economy and provide employment to thousands of people.

“Instead of representing these businesses and the majority of his constituents, Mr Jack is giving in to the hard right of the Conservative Party and letting the likes of Jacob Rees-Mogg and Boris Johnson take us closer and closer to a no deal disaster - which would see Scotland’s economy take a nine per cent hit to our GDP.

“Mr Jack needs to remember he is Dumfries & Galloway’s voice in Westminister, not Westminster’s voice in Dumfries & Galloway.”