The former SNP leader lambasted the prime minister’s negotiating tactic by promising to take Britain out of the bloc’s single market before official talks had begun.
Alex Salmond said the prime minister was wrong to rule out staying in the single market
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I think it’s a wrong position to say we want a clean break with the European Union
“I think it’s a wrong position to say we want a clean break with the European Union,” he said.
“I think it’s deeply mistaken, not only is it mistaken in principle, but tactically it’s a very bad position.”
Since Monday, MPs have been debating the Government’s Article 50 Bill, as the legislation reaches its last stages in the Commons.
The former SNP leader said the decision was "deeply mistaken"
A final vote on the bill will take place on Wednesday evening – before it goes to its third and last reading in the Commons.
Last week a Government White Paper was released, setting out Britain’s ambitions for life outside the EU.
It read that the Theresa May would take the country out of the single market, in a bid to forge a new relationship with the bloc.
Alluding to the plans, Mr Salmond said he would be going about it a completely different way if he was in Downing Street.
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“If I was a Brexiteer prime minister intending to take the UK out of the European Union, I would not be triggering Article 50 until I knew what the process, roughly, was going to end,” he continued.
“I certainly wouldn’t be going out of the single market – because if I knew that I was eventually going to have to go out of the single market, I would allow [the EU] to negotiate us out of the single market.
“If you’re on the high ground you stay they, you don’t charge down.”
The bill's next stage will take part in the House of Lords
Once the bill passes the Commons, the same process will take place in the House of Lords after it returns from recess on 20 February.
If passed, the prime minister will be on course to begin the crusade to begin Britain’s departure from Brussels ahead of the March 31 deadline.
The unelected peers have been warned that if it tries to thwart the will of the British people by delaying or even derailing Brexit – it could face abolishment altogether.
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