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Parties should not ignore impact of Brexit while campaigning, says Blackford

Ian Blackford accused his opponents of ignoring Brexit (Isabel Infantes/PA)
Ian Blackford accused his opponents of ignoring Brexit (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Political parties should not ignore the impact of Brexit in the final week of campaigning ahead of the local elections, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford has said.

In a letter to Keir Starmer, Boris Johnson and Ed Davey, Mr Blackford said the cost of Brexit was deepening the cost-of-living crisis.

He accused his opponents of ignoring Brexit “simply because it may be politically uncomfortable or inconvenient”.

Voters go to the polls in local elections around the UK on May 5, with voting also taking place in the Northern Ireland Assembly elections.

Mr Blackford said: “The Tory-made cost-of-living crisis is the most immediate pressure and priority facing households across Scotland and the UK.

“The reality so far is that the UK government has failed to properly lift a finger to protect households.

“If we are to effectively tackle every layer of this emergency, it is vital that we face all the driving factors behind these soaring costs.”

The pandemic and the war in Ukraine are not the only issues putting pressure on household budgets, he said.

Mr Blackford continued: “Time and time again, analysis has shown that Brexit, imposed by the Tory government upon Scotland against our will and backed by Labour, has been an unmitigated disaster – with Brexit leading to rising food prices and a hit to people’s pockets.

“People across Scotland and the UK are being forced to pay a heavy price for it at the worst possible time.

“With party leaders ramping up their local election campaigning, and ahead of the Queen’s Speech, they cannot conveniently ignore the impact Brexit is having on the cost-of-living crisis and they must not shamefully dodge their responsibility.

“If we are serious about tackling this cost-of-living emergency, we also need to be serious about tackling the clear costs of Brexit.”

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