Mr Blackford started confidently - but it was soon clear that he hadn’t read up sufficiently on his history. The SNP leader in Westminster boasted:
Mr Blackford started confidently – but it was soon clear that he hadn’t read up sufficiently on his history. The SNP leader in Westminster boasted: “Our relationship with Germany dates back to 1297, when William Wallace wrote to the masters of Lübeck and Hamburg declaring Scotland open for business.” But one clued up Tory MP wasn’t going to let him off that easily.
Having interjected with a point of order, Monmouth MP David TC Davies explained: “For clarification, the honourable gentleman just suggested that there was a relationship with Germany going back to the 1200s.
“Germany didn’t exist in the 1200s, Mr Speaker.”
The Speaker John Bercow replied: “Always very grateful to the honourable gentleman for his historical exegesis.”
Mr Blackford consequently resumed his speech, fuming.
The altercation came in advance of the vote on seven amendments to the withdrawal agreement due this evening.
Theresa May has said she will look “positively” at a compromise plan by senior Tory Leave and Remain supporters to prevent a no-deal Brexit.
A small group from the two wings has been meeting in secret for the past week to try to find an agreed way forward in talks convened by Housing Minister Kit Malthouse.
They included former Cabinet minister Nicky Morgan, solicitor general Robert Buckland and junior health minister Stephen Hammond on one side and Brexiteers Jacob Rees-Mogg and Steve Baker from the European Research Group.
Ms Morgan said under the terms of the so-called Malthouse compromise the Northern Ireland backstop would be “recast” as “free trade agreement-lite” with a commitment there would be no hard border with Ireland.
At the same time, the 21-month transition period would be extended by another year to December 2021, during which EU citizens’ rights would continue and the UK would pay into the EU budget.
“The Prime Minister has been aware of the discussions,” Ms Morgan told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
“At some point there has to be compromise on all sides in order to get a deal over the line.
“That is what most of us want to see – a negotiated settlement with the EU.
“People like me want to avoid a no-deal outcome, a crashing out on March 29.
“We have to look for ways to do that. We are all prepared to compromise on that.”