When the EU referendum took place, nobody voted to put jobs at risk, prolong austerity, or tear up our rights at work or as consumers. But this is precisely what the Tory Government is now doing.

As Jeremy Corbyn said in February 2018, with a Prime Minister held to ransom by the hard right of her party and unable to provide any direction, the Conservatives are ‘on a road to nowhere’ because they still cannot agree on our future relationship with the EU.

The hypocrisy of the SNP is staggering. Nicola Sturgeon claims to support the European Single Market, but at the same time she wants Scotland to leave the single market with its largest trading partner, the UK.

That’s why it is our party, the Labour Party, which has a historic opportunity -and a duty – to set out a clear direction for our country. Working in the national interest, our party can help marshal a majority for a different course which ends austerity, and promotes equality, social justice and environmental sustainability.

There is now a clear dividing line between Labour’s vision for a jobs-first Brexit, and the Tories’ plan to inflict economic ruin on our country. It is right that Labour seeks to take all necessary steps to ensure the UK permanently participates in a customs union on the same terms as we do now, as Jeremy Corbyn has said.

But if we are to leave the EU, the only way to tackle austerity, protect jobs, and defend our hard-won rights for workers and consumers is to remain in both the Single Market and Customs Union.

If we want to be able to fund our anti-austerity manifestos, we can’t afford a multi-billion pound hit to the public finances. That would leave the governments in Holyrood and Westminster with less money for schools and hospitals in Scotland and across the UK.

One of Labour’s proudest achievements is the Good Friday Agreement. The only way we can prevent a hard border between Ireland and the UK is to remain in the Single Market and Customs Union.

And if we want to build a modern, low-carbon economy that protects workers and tackles tax avoidance, we will only achieve it through collaboration and frictionless trade with our nearest neighbours.

Scottish Labour can lead the way and help persuade our party to ensure the UK permanently remains in the Single Market.

Given the parliamentary arithmetic in the Commons and the numbers of MPs from other parties who have indicated they will join us in this endeavour, our country’s continued participation in a customs union and the Single Market is now in Labour’s hands. We must grab this chance before it is too late. Future generations will never forgive us if we fail to do so.



Signed in personal capacities:


Ailsa Tweedie, equality officer, Motherwell and Wishaw CLP

Alan Stewart, Chair, Glasgow Cathcart CLP

Alex Gallagher, Councillor for North Coast and Cumbraes, North Ayrshire Council

Alison Dowling, Councillor for Houston, Crosslee and Linwood, Renfrewshire Council

Barry Black, PPC for West Aberdeen and Kincardine in 2015 and 2017

Ben Procter, Chair of LGBT Labour Scotland and secretary of Eastwood CLP

Blair McDougall, vice-chair of Eastwood CLP

Cammy Day, Labour group leader, City of Edinburgh Council

Cate Vallis, youth representative, Scottish Executive Committee

Catherine Stihler, MEP for Scotland

Chris Carus, Treasurer, Glasgow Cathcart CLP

Chris Davison, vice-chair, Edinburgh Western CLP

Chris Roarty, campaign coordinator, Motherwell and Wishaw CLP

Craig Carson, vice-chair, Glasgow Cathcart CLP

Deirdre Mackay, Councillor for East Sutherland and Edderton, Highland Council

Donald MacKinnon, youth officer, Na h-Eileanan an Iar CLP

Duncan Hothersall, editor, Labour Hame

Eva Murray, Councillor for Garscadden/Scotstounhill, Glasgow City Council

Fiona Dryburgh, Councillor for East Kilbride South, South Lanarkshire Council

Frank McAveety, Labour group leader, Glasgow City Council

Ian Murray, MP for Edinburgh South

Jamie Glackin, former chair of Scottish Labour

Joan Griffiths, Councillor for Craigentinny/Duddingston, City of Edinburgh Council

Joanne McFadden, Chair, Angus South CLP

Johanna Baxter, West Scotland and Mid Scotland and Fife representative, Scottish Executive Committee

John Erskine, Vice-chair, Inverness and Nairn CLP

John Ruddy, chair, Angus North and Mearns CLP

Karen Doran, Councillor for City Centre, City of Edinburgh Council

Katrina Murray, Vice-chair, National Policy Forum

Kenneth Duffy, Councillor for Motherwell South East and Ravenscraig, North Lanarkshire Council

Kezia Dugdale, MSP for the Lothian region

Kirsteen Sullivan, deputy leader, West Lothian Council

Kirsten Muat, Chair of Scottish Labour Students

Lillian Jones, Councillor for Kilmarnock West and Crosshouse, East Ayrshire Council

Lora Bedford, Secretary of Edinburgh Labour Students

Louise Roarty, Councillor for Murdostoun, North Lanarkshire Council

Maggie McTernan, Councillor for Victoria Park, Glasgow City Council

Malcolm Cunning, Councillor for Linn, Glasgow City Council

Martin Whitfield, MP for East Lothian

Maureen Child, Councillor for Portobello/Craigmillar, City of Edinburgh Council

Meg Whitelaw, youth representative, Scottish Executive Committee

Michael Shanks, vice-chair, Glasgow Kelvin CLP

Moh Fern Hirani, Scottish Labour Students Women’s Officer

Nicola Ross, Treasurer, Eastwood CLP

Pam Duncan-Glancy, PPC for Glasgow North in 2017

Paul Cruikshank, Secretary, Glasgow Anniesland CLP

Paul O’Kane, Councillor for Newton Mearns North and Neilston, East Renfrewshire Council

Dr Richard Simpson, former Shadow Public Health Minister

Robert Mooney, ex-President Community Trade Union and Councillor for Canal, Glasgow City Council

Sheila Gilmore, former MP for Edinburgh East

Shonagh Munro, Socialist Societies representative, Scottish Executive Committee

Sidhant Seth, Treasurer of Edinburgh Labour Students

Stephen Curran, Councillor for Newlands/Auldburn, Glasgow City Council

Stuart Murphy, chair, Dundee Labour Students

Suzan King, secretary and treasurer, Glasgow Southside CLP