Na h-Eileanan an Iar’s SNP MP Angus B MacNeil extends a warm welcome to Jeremy Corbyn as he visits Stornoway this week but challenges him to explain why he favours the Tories’ plan for a hard Brexit – for the UK to leave the Single Market and Customs Union.
Despite the majority of businesses in the Highlands and Islands believing this would be a negative move for the Scottish economy, Mr Corbyn supports the Tories’ plan to leave the Single Market and Customs Union and Mr MacNeil is urging him to explain why he and Theresa May think they know better.
Angus MacNeil MP said: “The view of Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party is the same as Theresa May and the Tories, that the UK should leave the Single Market and pursue a Brexit deal without membership – a view contrary to the majority of businesses asked in a recent HIE commissioned survey.
“The SNP, unlike Labour, is standing up for businesses and the wider community and will continue to press for the devolved administrations to be represented in the Brexit negotiations.”
Mr MacNeil also invites Mr Corbyn, during his time in the Hebrides, to see for himself the improvements made possible by SNP investment in the Isles and Scotland.
He added: “Jeremy Corbyn advocates many SNP policies in England while unfortunately rubbishing them in Scotland.
“He will notice the Isles tourism industry is experiencing an extremely busy season, boosted by RET on all ferry routes introduced by the SNP, an opportunity ignored by the Labour Party while in power who had no answers on transport and built very few houses, in contrast to more than 300 + built in the islands under the SNP.
“He will also see the thriving business sectors which rely heavily on Single Market Membership – a notion not supported by him or his Party despite the majority of Highlands and Islands businesses believing it to be beneficial to the Scottish economy.
“He will also hear the opposition of my constituents to Trident renewal, a view shared by Mr Corbyn but not by his own party unfortunately. I would ask him to reaffirm a commitment to nuclear disarmament and tell the Parliamentary Labour Party they are wrong.
“We are only now beginning to see the Mobile phone system we want as we get to grips with legacy issues stemmed from when Labour were in power when they auctioned off the spectrum regardless of coverage.
“I hope Mr Corbyn will enjoy his visit and that he can convince his councillors locally to come out of hiding, all of whom threw away their Labour badges and declared themselves as independents at the election three months ago, surely he can at least achieve that on his visit.
“I wish him well for his trip and hope he will encourage more of his colleagues to holiday in the Hebrides.”