Tuesday, 17 April 2018 05:35



The UK government has lodged an unprecedented legal challenge to stop Scotland’s Continuity Bill – passed by 95 votes to 32 at Holyrood – from becoming law.

The Bill is necessary to protect Scotland’s devolution settlement and is backed by all parties in the Scottish Parliament, aside from the Tories.

The legislation seeks to prepare Scotland’s laws for the impact of leaving the EU in the event that Holyrood refuses to consent to Westminster’s EU Withdrawal Bill which, as current drafted, amounts to a power grab over devolved areas.

Ivan McKee MSP, who sits on Holyrood’s Constitution Committee which considered the Continuity Bill, said:

“Scotland’s Parliament made its voice clear, passing the Bill by 95 votes to 32. And yet, the Tories still, arrogantly, think they alone have the right to strike it down.

“The Tories have no mandate but think they can do whatever they want to Scotland and get away with it – and this legal challenge proves it.

“They opposed devolution in the first place, they’ve consistently voted against Scotland’s interests and now they want to clip Holyrood’s wings once again.

“The Continuity Bill is necessary because of the failure of the UK Government to respect devolution in its own legislation. It is the only means available to our parliament to protect devolution and prepare Scotland’s laws for Brexit, and the Lord Advocate — Scotland’s most senior law officer — has made clear he considers the bill to be competent.

“However, the Tories have made clear from their actions that they intend to use Brexit to undermine devolution, to centralise power in Westminster and to worsen Scotland’s democratic deficit.

“We’re being dragged out of Europe and out of the Single Market at a huge cost to jobs and our economy. In that context, the devolution settlement itself has come under sustained attack from the Tories.

“That underpins the case for a stronger Scottish Parliament, not this latest cynical attempt by Westminster to put Scotland back in its box.”

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