• Tories playing ‘fast and loose’ with economy of islands

Commenting on the announcement that Parliament will be suspended, Isles MP Angus B MacNeil said:

“The steps taken by Prime Minister Boris Johnston today to suspend Parliament is unbelievable and shocking.  I have received calls from people in other countries asking what is going on in the circus of UK politics.

From an islands perspective, it is very worrying that Boris Johnson is lining up to have a hard Brexit.  A hard Brexit means poor trading relationships with our neighbours in Europe, who we rely on in the shellfish and crofting sector to buy our products.  As we have already heard this week, Stornoway Plastics who sell into the European market are facing problems with customers as close as Ireland.

“Scotland did not vote for this.  Scotland voted in favour of staying in the European Union by 62% – every single local authority area in Scotland voted Remain. 

“In 2014, Scotland was told to vote No to Independence to guarantee our place in the European Union – that promise today is seen as being a hollow joke as we find ourselves in the precarious situation of crashing out of the Single Market.

“Independence would have given us political control in Scotland to avoid Brexit and we really need that at the moment.  However, now the UK is all about walking away from a trade block and ripping up agreements to the detriment of our economy, no other country has done this and only Somalia, South Sudan and East Timor are out of regional trade blocks, according to the House of Commons Library.

“I only hope that this can be stopped now.  I have long advocated the revocation of Article 50, I just hope that other MPs wake up to the imperative need to do this – the stakes are high!