Wednesday, 18 April 2018 05:24

TORY GOVERNMENT'S "SHEER ARROGANCE" OVER CONTINUITY BILL

COURT CHALLENGE AN ASSAULT ON HOLYROOD'S DEMOCRATIC LEGITIMACY

Following an Urgent Question today, the SNP’s Justice and Home Affairs spokesperson has said that the “sheer arrogance” of the Tory government is on full display through its efforts to undermine the democratic legitimacy of the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly over their Continuity Bills.

Joanna Cherry QC MP questioned the Attorney General as to why the UK government is attempting to attack the democratic standing of Holyrood, and continuing to undermine devolution across the UK, by seeking to overturn Scotland’s Continuity Bill – which was overwhelmingly passed in Holyrood – through the courts.

The bill is necessary to protect Scotland’s devolution settlement, and 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 currently drafted, amounts to a power grab over devolved areas.

The legislation is backed by all parties in the Scottish Parliament, aside from the Tories.

Commenting, Joanna Cherry QC MP said:

“The sheer arrogance of the Tory government is on full display as it continues to think that it alone has the right to overrule the democratic will and vote in Holyrood over Scotland’s Continuity Bill.

“This is the first time the UK government has challenged legislation passed by the Scottish parliament, and its attack on the legitimacy of Holyrood is yet another sign that the Tories think they can do whatever they want to Scotland and get away with it. They could not be more wrong.

“The purpose of the bill is to prepare for the consequences on devolved powers of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, and will be necessary if the Scottish Parliament does not give its consent to the EU Withdrawal Bill.

“This bill was passed by the overwhelming majority in the Scottish Parliament, with every party bar the Tories in support. Scotland’s most senior law officer the Lord Advocate is clear that the bill falls within the competency of the Scottish Parliament.

“The Tory government at Westminster wants to use the courts to overrule the Scottish Parliament because the Scottish Tories in Holyrood could not defeat it by democratic means."

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