DAVID Mundell will today attempt to persuade Scottish finance leaders that the government’s Brexit plan is a “major step forward in clarity” despite the turmoil it has generated.

The Scottish Secretary will try to sell Theresa May’s deal at a briefing for Scotland’s £9bn financial services sector in Edinburgh.

READ MORE: David Mundell faces cross-party calls to resign 

Among the employers taking part will be RBS, Tesco Bank, Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, KPMG, Pheonix Group, and CYBG, which owns Clydesdale Bank, Yorkshire Bank and Virgin Money UK.


Also attending is Scottish Financial Enterprise, the body representing Scotland’s financial services industry, whose members employ more than 140,000 people.

The SNP said Mr Mundell must be “completely deluded” if he believed his own spin, and said Mrs May’s deal and political agreement offered only uncertainty on trade relations.

SNP MP Tommy Sheppard said: “If David Mundell is so confident in the Tory government’s dodgy deal, he’ll put his neck on the line and resign if it fails to pass through the Commons. How a Scottish Secretary can support a deal that jeopardises household incomes and puts Scotland at a competitive disadvantage to Northern Ireland on trade is beyond words.”

Mr Mundell said: “Scotland’s financial sector is of the utmost importance. The industry should be reassured the Prime Minister has agreed an ambitious Brexit deal with the EU that will protect Scottish jobs and business, [with] opportunities for free trade around the world.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon says David Mundell should resign 

“We have successfully negotiated an agreement on the future relationship for financial services when we leave the EU, a relationship that will be of greater depth than any other the EU currently has with a third country.

“This is a major step forward in providing clarity for the industry about a smooth transition to our new relationship.”

Mrs May’s de facto deputy has also been criticised after claiming fishing talks would be wholly separate from post-Brexit trade negotiations.

Cabinet Office minister David Lidington gave a guarantee there would be no link between fishing and access to UK waters and a broader trade deal.

He told BBC Sunday Politics Scotland: “This [fishing] is not something where the EU 27 have all the negotiating cards.

Asked if he accepted the minister’s guarantee, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said: “Not at all, he’s either deluded or he hasn’t read what the EU has been saying. The EU 27 issued a document that made it absolutely crystal clear that future negotiations on fishing would start from the position of the existing quota shares.”

“The idea that Europe is not going to have access to our waters and is not going to drive a hard bargain on this is simply missing the point spectacularly.”

He said fishermen would be a “bargaining chip” for the UK Government in talks with the EU.