A FORTNIGHT ago, the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal was easily defeated in the House of Commons, by 432 votes to 202, in the biggest UK Government defeat in history.

This demonstrated that Theresa May’s Brexit Plan is unworkable and, as a disastrous No-Deal Brexit should not and cannot be considered, it is clear Article 50 must be extended to give more time to sort out this mess.

Despite this crushing defeat, Mrs May survived a vote of no confidence in her Government the next day.

This means that, for now, a General Election seems unlikely but it does put pressure on Jeremy Corbyn to finally listen to the majority of Labour’s membership and back another EU referendum.

Polls now show 12 per cent leads for ‘Remain’ across the UK, yet Corbyn resists the pressure to commit to the policy his own party conference agreed in September to hold a referendum following the Prime Minister surviving a confidence vote.

The Prime Minister may now say she is listening to other parties and individuals but there is no proof she is actually hearing what anybody else is saying. For genuine talks to begin, she must rule out a disastrous No-Deal Brexit and be open to other approaches.

Due to the Prime Minister’s brinkmanship by trying to run out the clock and forcing parliament to accept her deal, the chances of the UK crashing out of the EU with no deal have increased significantly. This would devastate the Scottish economy, so we must do all we can to avoid this. If Corbyn won’t act to reverse Brexit and the Prime Minister can’t get a deal through parliament, then the only way out of this mess is Scottish Independence.

Last week, I stood up for Paisley and Renfrewshire North and Scotland’s overwhelming vote to Remain in the European Union during the debate in Parliament ahead of the vote on the Prime Minister’s deal. The main focus of my speech was on the massive benefits of Freedom of Movement, which allow us free access to 27 other countries.

Immediately after the 2016 vote, Nicola Sturgeon told all EU citizens they are welcome in Scotland, whereas the Tories used them like bargaining chips. Even today they play haphazardly with their futures. I’ve recently learned of the disgusting situation where EU citizens are being refused their Universal Credit payments because they cannot prove their right to remain. What a contrast in treating people with dignity.

It’s vital for the long-term success of Scotland that we remain in the European Union so that we can continue to play our part in cross-border science and research, so that our businesses can continue to sell to 515 million Europeans and so that we can continue to freely travel across 27 other countries.

Finally, I’d like to remind people about my surgeries. These are a chance for you to seek advice or assistance with an issue. You can find full details of my regular surgeries at www.gavinnewlands.scot/surgeries.

I also hold advice surgeries to provide assistance specifically to carers at 10am on the last Friday of every month at Renfrewshire Carers’ Centre. If you are a carer and you require my assistance, please call the centre on 0141 887 3643 to make an appointment.