SNP expects amendment to suspend Article 50 EU withdrawal process to be brought

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The SNP’s leader at Westminster has said he expects an amendment to suspend the Article 50 EU withdrawal process to be brought forward in the Commons in the coming days.

Ian Blackford said there are MPs from across the chamber who have indicated they would support such a move to suspend the Brexit process.

The MP said any amendment to that effect would have to be put down before December 9.

MPs are set to vote on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal in a crucial House of Commons vote on Tuesday December 11.

Mr Blackford said he is supportive of an amendment tabled by Labour MP Hilary Benn, which he said rules out Mrs May’s deal and a no-deal scenario.

“I expect when the Commons opens for business again on Monday that SNP MPs would put their name to that amendment and I am calling on all members of Parliament to consider backing that,” he told BBC Scotland.

He continued: “Of course what we also need to do is make sure we can suspend the Article 50 process.

“Let’s take the risks off the table. Having done that, as I believe we will do … then we’ve got the opportunity to move ahead on hopefully what is a consensus that can be built on a position that we can all support.

“Our position in the SNP is very clear, that Scotland voted to remain and we wish to remain a part of the European Union and we will be certainly putting forward that argument.”

Asked on the Sunday Politics Scotland show whether a motion to suspend Article 50 would be put forward, Mr Blackford replied: “I think it is important that Parliament expresses an opinion on this.

“There’s quite a number of days though for Parliament to put down an amendment to that effect and I believe that that will be the case.”

He added: “We’ve expressed for a considerable period of time that we want Article 50 to be suspended.”

Asked who would support such a move, he replied: “There are members of Parliament across the chamber that have said to me they will support that proposition.

“If you’re going to vote against Theresa May’s deal, if you’re going to vote to rule out a no-deal scenario, then it is common sense that you need to make sure that there is time for a new proposal to be put forward in Parliament, perhaps even to the people of Scotland and the United Kingdom.

“That means that we have to postpone Article 50.

“The European Union recognises that there’s a possibility of that coming.”

Mr Blackford added: “We want to postpone Article 50 and I want Parliament to vote for that as a proposition.”

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