Thursday, 11 July 2019 05:56


Marking twenty years of devolution in a debate in Westminster today (Thursday), the SNP has renewed calls for all decisions about Scotland to be made in Scotland, as the threat of a no-deal Brexit and a Prime Minister that would deny more powers for Scotland grows.

During the Tory leadership contest, Scottish Tory MP John Lamont – who is Jeremy Hunt’s campaign manager in Scotland – called on rival candidate Boris Johnson to rule out granting further economic powers to Holyrood.
The campaign call adds to pledges made by both Tory candidates that they would pursue a no-deal Brexit policy that would be disproportionately damaging for Scotland – costing 100,000 Scottish jobs and every person in Scotland the equivalent of £2,300 a year – despite people in Scotland voting overwhelmingly to remain in the EU in 2016.
It also follows the Tory Chancellor’s admission that a no-deal Brexit “would be bad for the UK, bad for the British economy, bad for the British people… It would be wrong for a British government to seek to pursue no-deal as a policy.”
SNP MP Tommy Sheppard warned that with Scotland’s voice having been ignored throughout the Brexit process, it was becoming clearer each day that the only way to protect Scotland’s interests is with independence – with polls showing a majority of people in Scotland want a fresh independence referendum.
Despite the chaos of Brexit and harmful Tory policies, the Scottish Parliament and devolution has continued to deliver for the people in Scotland by leading on legislation such as land reform, the ban on smoking in public places, equal marriage, minimum unit pricing for alcohol, and the most ambitious climate change targets anywhere in the world.
Commenting ahead of the debate, Tommy Sheppard MP said:
“We know that a no-deal Brexit rabidly pursued by either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt would be an utter disaster for Scotland, yet that is exactly where we are headed. Throughout the entire process Scotland’s voice and democratic vote has consistently been ignored.
“We know there is no such thing as a good Brexit, but Scotland still faces being pushed over the Brexit cliff-edge, hitting people’s pockets and living standards.
“The arrogance of the Tory government knows no bounds in its treatment of the devolved administrations, and the disdain for the devolution settlement is on show in this toxic Tory leadership contest.
“It’s for the people of Scotland to decide how they are governed – not a Tory party which we didn’t even vote for carving up powers up to suit their own political ends. 
“While the Tories have fought amongst themselves and imposed harmful austerity policies, the Scottish Government has got on with the day job by using the powers at its disposal to introduce a range of innovative and progressive policies, not least a social security system built on dignity and respect.
“But we can go further with the full levers of independence, and faced with chaos and uncertainty in Westminster, it's no wonder that support for independence in Scotland is growing – with polls showing a majority want a fresh independence referendum.
"People in Scotland deserve the choice of a better future than the bankrupt Brexit Britain on offer from Westminster.
“Any pretence that Scotland will ever be treated as an equal partner in the UK has long gone. It is clearer than ever that the only way to properly protect Scotland’s interests is by taking our place as an equal, independent European nation.”

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