Report by Patience Magill
A year into her calamitous Premiership, Theresa May has been urged by the Scottish National Party to put her warm words about working with others into action, instead of sidelining and belittling political opponents.
Ahead of a speech which will mark her first anniversary in office, the Prime Minister was accused of “arrogance” and a refusal to work with others, two aspects which the SNP said have been key factors in the collapse of her authority.
SNP Europe spokesperson Stephen Gethins MP said that, with tens of thousands of jobs, living standards and our economy dependent on a good Brexit deal, it was more important than ever that May reaches out to those who want Brexit to be a success.
“Despite warm words about listening to others when she took office, the simple fact is that Theresa May has done her level best to ignore, sideline and belittle her opponents over the last year.
“With her Commons majority gone and her authority severely undermined, Theresa May can no longer just pay lip service to the idea of listening to and working with others – she is now offering to do so because she has no choice.
“All of us, whether we voted Leave or Remain, want Brexit to be a success – leaving the EU will have a significant impact on each and every one of us, on our rights, the environment, economy, education and opportunities for young people.”
A year has passed since May made Edinburgh her first destination on a UK tour which was aimed at appeasing criticism outside Westminster. But her hints that she would embrace Scottish concerns about the Brexit vote proved to be hollow as her government rejected the Scottish Parliament and SNP Government’s case for protecting Scottish interests during negotiations with the EU.
“The Scottish Government produced serious and detailed compromise proposals responding to Brexit which would protect jobs and Scotland’s economy – the UK government must now give these proper and genuine consideration.
“Of course, this government’s unwillingness to listen goes way beyond Brexit – Theresa May’s approach to austerity, pay restraint and much more is unsustainable and she must change course.
“The SNP has already shown its willingness to compromise and the Westminster government has to be willing to do the same.”
The year has witnessed an increasingly bitter war of words between First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and her senior colleagues, and Scottish Secretary David Mundell and his party in London.
May refused to take on arguments from Holyrood and other devolved assemblies, until her disastrous General Election result in June, which resulted in a £1.5bn deal with the Democratic Unionist Party from Northern Ireland, an agreement that will prop up her minority government until Brexit negotiations are complete – she hopes.