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Brexit will crash the economy, SNP Westminster leader warns

File photo dated 25/03/17 of a flag flown by pro-EU protesters taking part in a march in London. Growing numbers of voters want the Government to negotiate a "soft" Brexit, new research has found. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday October 11, 2018. The survey found more than two-fifths of voters (43%) would like Brexit negotiations to end with the UK in a close relationship with the remaining EU, along the lines of Norway's membership of the European Economic Area. See PA story POLITICS Brexit Research. Photo credit should read: Victoria Jones/PA Wire

By Laura Paterson, Political Reporter, Press Association Scotland

Brexit will crash the economy, the SNP's Westminster leader has warned.

Ian Blackford said any move by the UK Government to leave the EU without a deal is "madness".

His comments come as Theresa May is to address EU leaders in Brussels in further talks on a Brexit deal amid falling expectations.

The SNP MP warned a no-deal Brexit would be a dereliction of duty from the Prime Minister.

Speaking on the BBC's Good Morning Scotland radio programme, he said: "When you look at the fact that we've got a UK Government that's burdened by debt of almost £1.8 trillion to put yourself in the situation that you are going to crash the economy, because that's what you're doing, this is absolutely unprecedented.

"UK Government analysis suggests that the Scottish economy could fall by as much as 9% over 15 years.

"This is madness. No government should be doing that.

"You have a responsibility to look after people and I'm charging the Prime Minister of not discharging that responsibility properly."

He said we must "stop where we are" and recognise the consequences of leaving the EU without a deal and repeated calls for the remaining in the single market and customs union, for which he believes there is a majority in the House of Commons.

Mr Blackford added the issue of a referendum on the final Brexit deal, a so-called People's Vote, should be looked at if either no agreement is reached between the UK and the EU or if it is a "bad deal".

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