MP hits out at PM’s Bute ‘disadvantage’

Argyll and Bute MP Brendan O'Hara had a war of words with Prime Minister Theresa May.
Argyll and Bute MP Brendan O'Hara had a war of words with Prime Minister Theresa May.

Local MP Brendan O’Hara has slammed the Prime Minister for putting his constituency at a “competitive disadvantage” in business terms.

During a heated exchange in the House of Commons, the SNP member accused Theresa May of failing his area of Scotland when compared to near neighbours in Northern Ireland.

The row blew up following the Prime Minister’s long-awaited statement on the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

Mr O’Hara claimed that the “special deal” proposed for Northern Ireland would cost jobs, hit businesses and deter investment.

He argued that it could, ultimately, lower living standards in his “already economically fragile” constituency.

The local MP said: “The Prime Minister struggled to answer my question as to how this deal is good for my already economically fragile constituency.

“Our neighbours in Northern Ireland, who will stay in an advantageous position in a customs union, will be in a very strong position to attract jobs and investment at the expense of Scotland, particularly here in Argyll and Bute just across the water.

“We have ended up with the worst of all possible outcomes with England and Wales voting to leave and leaving, Northern Ireland voting to remain and retaining a foothold into the EU and Scotland, which voted to remain, being completely dragged out against its will.”

The choice between a “bad deal” and “no deal” was unpalatable, he insisted.

Mr O’Hara said: “No one should fall for this false choice being desperately spun by this isolated Tory Prime Minister that seeks to force us to choose between a ‘bad deal’ or a ‘no deal’ at all.

“With the Tories stuck in a civil war, the SNP will be working constructively with cross-party MPs to bring about an outcome that minimises the damage to Scotland.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed that she is committed to finding an alternative to the Prime Minister’s Brexit plan.