Morning Call: pick of the papers

The ten must-read comment pieces from this morning's papers.

1. Throw out the myths about Margaret Thatcher (Guardian)

 

The reality was that Thatcher was neither popular nor successful economically, writes Ken Livingstone. Labour must make a clean break with her policies.

2. How Labour can answer Blair’s seven questions (Times)

To expand Labour's support, Miliband should be bolder on housing, welfare and land taxation, says New Statesman editor Jason Cowley.

3. Sulking Tony Blair should show Ed Miliband some of the loyalty he demanded (Daily Mirror)

Blair may have been the right man to lead Labour at the 1997 election after John Smith’s death but he was past his sell-by date before the 2005 election, says Kevin Maguire.

4. Britain should not go back to the future (Financial Times)

The UK has been left an economy with a remarkably late-19th century look, writes Martin Wolf.

5. Seven lessons from Thatcher for the Tories (Times)

Her failures as well as her successes are worth analysing, says Tim Montgomerie.

6. Thatcher listened to voters – now it’s Farage who hears their despair (Daily Telegraph)

Ukip is no longer a single-issue party, it is widening its scope and enjoys the common touch with core voters that the main parties lack, says Fraser Nelson. 

7. Benefits don't look quite the electoral winner Cameron presumed (Guardian)

Attitudes to welfare change once people understand the detail, writes Polly Toynbee. For all last week's sound and fury, Labour was 10 points ahead.

8. Back-seat driving is a risky business, especially for Tony Blair (Independent)

The former PM was positively Trappist during the Brown years, says an Independent editorial. Not anymore.

9. A prophecy of prosperity after the gloom (Daily Telegraph)

Keynes and Thatcher each knew that growth would return, and soon than others thought, says Jeremy Warner.

10. Margaret Thatcher: Corporation blues (Guardian)

Conservative hostility towards the BBC was a constant theme in the Thatcher era, notes a Guardian editorial. With her death there has been a fresh spike.

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Scottish voters don't want hard Brexit - and they have a say in the future too

Leaving the single market is predicted to cost Scottish workers £2,000 a year,

After months of dithering, delaying and little more than scribbled notes in Downing Street we now know what Theresa May’s vision for a hard Brexit looks like. It is the clearest sign yet of just how far the Tories are willing to go to ignore the democratic will of the people of Scotland.  
 
The Tories want to take Scotland out of the single market - a market eight times bigger than the UK’s alone - which will cost Scotland 80,000 jobs and cut wages by £2,000 a year, according to the Fraser of Allander Institute.
 
And losing our place in the single market will not only affect Scotland's jobs but future investment too.
 
For example, retaining membership of, and tariff-free access to, the single market is crucial to sustainability and growth in Scotland’s rural economy.  Reverting to World Trade Organisation terms would open sections of our agricultural sector, such as cattle and sheep, up to significant risk. This is because we produce at prices above the world market price but are protected by the EU customs area.
 
The SNP raised the future of Scotland’s rural economy in the House of Commons yesterday as part of our Opposition Day Debate - not opposition for opposition’s sake, as the Prime Minister might say, but holding the UK Government to account on behalf of people living in Scotland.
 
The Prime Minister promised to share the UK Government’s Brexit proposals with Parliament so that MPs would have an opportunity to examine and debate them. But apparently we are to make do with reading about her 12-point plan in the national press.  This is unacceptable. Theresa May must ensure MPs have sufficient time to properly scrutinise these proposals.
 
It is welcome that Parliament will have a vote on the final Brexit dea,l but the Prime Minister has failed to provide clarity on how the voices of the devolved administrations will be represented in that vote.  To deny the elected representatives of the devolved nations a vote on the proposals, while giving one to the hundreds of unelected Lords and Ladies, highlights even further the democratic deficit Scotland faces at Westminster.  
 
The Scottish government is the only government to the UK to publish a comprehensive plan to keep Scotland in the single market - even if the rest of the UK leaves.
 
While the Prime Minister said she is willing to cooperate with devolved administrations, if she is arbitrarily ruling out membership of the single market, she is ignoring a key Scottish government priority.  Hardly the respect you might expect Scotland as an “equal partner” to receive. 
 
Scotland did not vote for these proposals - the UK government is playing to the tune of the hard-right of the Tory party, and it is no surprise to see that yesterday’s speech has delighted those on the far-right.
 
If the Tories insist on imposing a hard Brexit and refuse to listen to Scotland’s clear wishes, then the people of Scotland have the right to consider what sort of future they want.
 
SNP MPs will ensure that Scotland’s voice is heard at Westminster and do everything in our power to ensure that Scotland is protected from the Tory hard Brexit. 

 

Angus Robertson is the SNP MP for Moray, the SNP depute leader and Westminster group leader.