No more games: Scots Tory rounds on hard­lin­ers as crunch vote looms

MP urges Brex­i­teers to back PM

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - BREXIT - By Krissy Stor­rar [email protected]

A Scots Tory MP yes­ter­day urged hard­line Brex­i­teers to back Theresa May’s Brexit deal and stop “gam­bling with peo­ple’s lives.”

Paul Master­ton, the MP for East Ren­frew­shire, crit­i­cised par­lia­men­tary col­leagues for their fail­ure to com­pro­mise ahead of Tues­day’s vote on the deal.

The Prime Min­is­ter is ex­pected to lose but Mr Master­ton urged MPs to act in the best in­ter­ests of the coun­try rather than pin­ning their hopes on a non-ex­is­tent “mag­i­cal so­lu­tion” and risk­ing it back­fir­ing.

He said: “There are a lot of peo­ple who are play­ing games with this for their own per­sonal agen­das. It’s very frus­trat­ing.

“I think they need to re­alise why they’re there. They’re not there for them­selves, they’re there to act for the best in­ter­ests of the coun­try and that means com­pro­mis­ing.”

De­spite hav­ing “mis­giv­ings”, Mr Master­ton will vote in favour of the Prime Min­is­ter’s deal as he be­lieves re­ject­ing it is gam­bling with the lives of his con­stituents. But he has warned he would not back a deal for a harder Brexit and would rather see a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum than for Bri­tain to leave Europe with no deal.

He said: “I think that the risk of vot­ing down the deal in the hope that something bet­ter ma­te­ri­alises is a huge gam­ble, whether that’s for those who be­lieve that something bet­ter means a cleaner Brexit or those who be­lieve that something bet­ter means can­celling Brexit al­to­gether.

“I didn’t come into pol­i­tics to take a gam­ble with the lives of the peo­ple I rep­re­sent. My view is that most peo­ple are rec­on­ciled to Brexit hap­pen­ing but they don’t nec­es­sar­ily want it to hap­pen at any cost.

“My view is the deal is a com­pro­mise and it’s a com­pro­mise that’s as far as I’m pre­pared to go.”

An­drew Bowie, the Con­ser­va­tive MP for West Aberdeen­shire and Kin­car­dine, also urged politi­cians to back the deal. He said: “I think it’s the only deal on the ta­ble, it’s the one that re­spects the will of the Bri­tish peo­ple and it’s the one that guar­an­tees that we leave the Euro­pean Union on March 29 as the Bri­tish peo­ple have voted for.”

The Scot­tish Govern­ment has writ­ten to all West­min­ster MPs urg­ing them to vote against the deal and back a new ref­er­en­dum.

In the let­ter, Con­sti­tu­tional Re­la­tions Sec­re­tary Michael Rus­sell de­scribed this as a “cru­cial week for the fu­ture of Scot­land”. He said: “I urge MPs not to think just of the days to come but of the gen­er­a­tions to come. The UK Govern­ment’s Brexit deal will take Scot­land out of the EU against our will. It will make us poorer, di­min­ish our rights and dam­age op­por­tu­ni­ties for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.”

Ten out of the 13 Tory MPs in Scot­land are ex­pected to vote in favour of the deal, with Dou­glas Ross, John La­mont and Ross Thom­son due to re­ject it.

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