It has been the privilege of my
life to serve as the leader of the Scottish Conservative and
Unionist party these past nearly eight years.
This has been a remarkable time in
politics and I will always be thankful for
the opportunity to have a front seat as Scottish
political history was being made. It is therefore with a
heavy heart that this morning I wrote to the
chairman of the Scottish Conservative party to
tender my resignation. I explained the changes, both
professional and personal, that have prompted this decision.
You all know and I have never sought to hide the
conflict that I have felt over Brexit. As I Iook to the future I see the
Scottish election due in 2021 and a credible threat from our
opponents to force a general election before then.
Having lead our party through seven national elections
and two referenda I know the efforts, the hours and
the travel required to fight such campaigns successfully.
And I have to be honest that where the idea of getting
on the roads to fight two elections in 20 months would
once have fired me up the threat of spending hundreds
of hours away from my home and family now fills me
with dread. And that is now way to lead. What I would urge is to
colleagues who want to avoid no-deal. Vote for
a deal – you’ve had three opportunities, you blew
every one of them. Don’t blow a fourth.
I know the prime minister is seeking to get a deal.
I’ve had long conversations with him on this point
and I believe him when he says he’s seeking to
get a deal. And please, for those people who are
trying to avoid no-deal, make it clear, make it clear
now that if a deal comes back to the house of
commons you will vote for it. And let the EU hear
you say that you will vote for it so that they
understand that there is a reason for them to