This article was published by the Herald on 23rd July 2019. You can also read the Evening News version online, here.
He’s lied his way to Downing Street and the sad thing for our politics is that it’s worked. A dangerous, deluded myth-peddler is today the new leader of the Tories – and will tomorrow become our new Prime Minister.
It’s a sickening moment for all of us who believe in a progressive United Kingdom and desperately want our country to be a beacon of hope in these troubled times.
This is the man who backed the Brexit referendum campaign bus slogan that promoted the downright lie that leaving the EU would fund the NHS by an extra £350 million a week.
If he wants some actual facts, this is what the EU means for people in Edinburgh: five per cent of all jobs are filled by workers from EU countries; Edinburgh University received over £40 million in EU research funding in 2017-18; and the financial services industry in the capital provides £5 billion in gross value for the economy and employs 50,000 people. He wants to put all that at risk.
What wasn’t printed on the side of his bus was the prospect of the UK crashing out of the EU without a deal. Nobody voted for that in 2016.
So, along with many other colleagues in Westminster, I will do everything I can to stop Prime Minister Johnson inflicting economic ruin on our country.
I have teamed up with SNP and Lib Dem parliamentarians and a team of legal experts to launch a court challenge to his attempt to shut down Parliament to force through a no-deal.
Mr Johnson’s plan is not how a functioning democracy works. In a democracy, the people have the final say.
With Mr Johnson’s victory now confirmed, the future of our country is at stake. We must work harder than ever before to deliver a final say on Brexit to the people of the UK, with the option to remain in the EU.
I am delighted that herculean efforts internally have moved the official Labour Party position in the Scottish party and now in the UK party to the policy of a confirmatory vote with a campaign to remain.
Today, Labour stands firmly opposed to Boris’s Brexit. It is in the best interests of Edinburgh, Scotland and the UK to work together across nations to solve the pressing issues of the day.
My message to both the Tories and the SNP is the same: you don’t solve problems by creating borders, but by building bridges.
Today, as we brace ourselves for the first days of the Boris Johnson premiership, the need to put party interests aside and work in the best interests of everyone in the UK has never been greater.