EDINBURGH — Tory Brexiteers must back down and accept Theresa May’s Chequers plan because the alternatives aren’t acceptable to the wider public, the U.K.’s Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell told POLITICO in an interview.
“People have to wake up to what the alternatives are,” he said of the British PM’s plan for a new U.K.-EU free trade area and closely intertwined customs relationship with Brussels. “I think people have to be challenged. If they don’t like the Chequers deal, what is their alternative?
“Clearly there is a group of people who would just leave the EU at any cost, in any circumstances. And there is another group of people who would go back into the EU. Neither of those alternatives I think are generally acceptable to the wider public, nor would be of benefit now to the country,” Mundell warned.
The Cabinet minister said that even in Scotland, where a majority of voters backed Remain, most people just want the government to “get on with it.”
“[Scots] really are a bit frustrated with the fact everybody bickers all the time about it,” Mundell said. “They can’t see how we can’t just come together and get a deal with the EU. I think there is a wider public understanding than there is within the political community that actually, if we all sang from the same hymn sheet, that would give us a much more powerful negotiating position with the other members of the EU.”