The SNP’s Westminster leader accused Prime Minister Boris Johnson of “taking the UK head-first towards a Brexit disaster” as he shamelessly pushed for Scottish independence in a strongly-worded rant. Mr Blackford said: “Boris Johnson is taking the UK head-first towards a Brexit disaster, threatening our economy with the growing risk of a devastating bad deal or No-Deal outcome.
“Yet again, the Prime Minister is putting the narrow Tory Brexit obsession ahead of his responsibilities to protect people’s jobs, businesses and living standards.
“He must think again, pause his failed talks and agree to the two-year transition period extension on offer.”
His comments come after European Council chief Charles Michel warned the UK the EU would not be pressured into buying a “pig in a poke” after Boris Johnson met Brussels leaders on Monday to accelerate talks.
Mr Johnson and EU leaders agreed that “new momentum” is required to revive trade talks between the UK and the bloc.
Prime Minister Johnson suggested an agreement could be reached in July with “a bit of oomph”.
But Mr Blackford said he believed a no deal Brexit was now “increasingly likely” and said it was “clearer than ever that the only way to protect Scotland’s economic interests and our place at the heart of Europe is to become an independent country”.
READ MORE: EU leaders tell Boris bloc must compromise in Brexit talks
He suggested that Brussels wanted to drag the talks out in an attempt to push them towards the December 31 deadline.
It was “very clear what the UK needs” from the deal, he said, adding: “We can’t have the involvement of the European Court of Justice in this country, we can’t have a system whereby we continue to have to obey EU law even when we’re out of the EU and we’ve got to get a great deal for our fish.”
Four rounds of negotiations have so far made little apparent progress, but the two sides have agreed to an “intensified” negotiating timetable in the weeks ahead.
Mr Johnson said: “I don’t think we’re actually that far apart, but what we need now is to see a bit of oomph in the negotiations.”
The EU has formally accepted that the UK would not seek any extension to the transition which allows Britain continued access to the single market while talks continue.