Posted by Geoff Bishop.
Written by Andrew Learmonth.
SCOTTISH Brexit Minister Michael Russell no longer has the patience to listen to Brexiteer nonsense. It’s “time to call out” those who back leaving the EU but don’t know or don’t care about the damage it’s doing to the UK, he said.
The SNP MSP schooled an arrogant Tory Brexiteer yesterday, after they tried to suggest leaving the EU must mean leaving the single market and the customs union.
In the debate on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show, Russell said staying in the single market “was the only sensible step, apart from staying in the EU which is the rally sensible step because this is a complete waste of time and money”.
The people who voted for Brexit were, he added: “Unfortunately sold a pup and are now beginning to realise it.”
“Isn’t that rather patronising?” Derbyshire asked.
“As we now know, there were a lot of lies told, £350 million a week for the NHS. The reality is this is costing us money. It’s costing us more than that every week,” Russell replied.
David Jones, a former Brexit minister, who led the Leave campaign in Wales, said it would not be possible for the UK to stay in the single market and customs union and still have Brexit. “Yes you can, yes you can, of course, you can,” Russell interrupted. “David, you don’t know much about this, you were so extreme they got rid of you from [the Department for Exiting the EU].”
Jones replied: “Mr Russell, your customary rudeness doesn’t help on this occasion. The fact is we’re leaving the European Union, we’re going to be leaving the single market and the customs union, and we’re going to cease to be subject to the jurisdiction of European Court of Justice.
“That is what leaving the European Union means. It means ceasing to be bound by the EU treaties. Now, it’s quite possible, of course, that we could seek to negotiate some form of access to the single market or some form of arrangement with the customs union but that is a wholly separate negotiation.”
Russell said: “I suffered David Jones for a year on the joint ministerial committee. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about, he’s making a mess of it, so are the people around him. In the name of God, stop this nonsense because it is causing disaster; we’re being led to disaster by people like David Jones.”
Jones then said Russell was “probably the biggest impediment to the negotiations between the British Government and the devolved administrations”.
The Tory said Russell had just “displayed admirably why he’s a danger to the whole process of Brexit”.
“This is just nonsense,” Russell said. “There can’t be a smooth withdrawal.”
He later tweeted: “Time to call out Brexiteers like David Jones who either don’t know or don’t care about the damage they are doing to Scotland, Wales and the rest of these islands.”