November 19, 2018 / 12:32 AM / 21 days ago

Scottish minister Russell sees Brexit deal being defeated in parliament

Scotland's brexit minister Michael Russell MSP addresses the Scottish National Party (SNP) conference in Aberdeen, Scotland, Britain, June 9, 2018. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

(Reuters) - Scotland’s constitution minister, Michael Russell, predicted on Monday the British government’s Brexit deal would be defeated in the UK parliament and said the Scottish government would do everything it could to ensure a common-sense alternative”.

“This week therefore while the Tories escalate their civil war, we will step up our efforts to work constructively with others to bring about an outcome that will minimise the damage of leaving the EU and protect jobs and living standards as much as possible”, Russell told the Joint Ministerial Committee (EU Negotiations), chaired by Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington.

He labelled the Brexit process as ‘disastrous’ and said the British government was not interested in the views of the Scottish government or parliament.

“It seems clear the UK Government’s deal will be defeated in the House of Commons and therefore we will do everything in power to ensure a common-sense alternative is in place,”

Russell said.

Russell, who has led talks to persuade May’s government to stay in the single market and customs union, will press the British government again on the issue, but said he now had “little confidence” that UK ministers were interested in serious talks.

Reporting by Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Cooney

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