Saturday, 09 June 2018 05:06


SNP Brexit Minister Michael Russell has reiterated the Scottish Government’s commitment to protecting the Scottish Parliament from a Tory power grab in a speech to SNP Conference in Aberdeen.

During his address, Russell stated his opposition to the Tory power grab and the importance of protecting the devolved settlement for Scotland’s fisheries, agriculture and food and drink sectors.

The Scottish Government’s Brexit Minister also said that “Brexit is now all about keeping the Tories in power”.

Michael Russell MSP said:

“Brexit isn’t about Scotland.  It isn’t even about Britain. It is about the Tories.   And it is being used by the Tories – north and south of the border – to attack Scotland and our vision of Scotland – a civic, constructive, positive, outward looking vision.

“Brexit is now all about keeping the Tories in power, no matter what it takes. It is about their desire to take back control – for themselves.

“Control of our Parliament too – indeed handing control of our Parliament over to a minority in that Parliament, the Scottish Tories who could, and would, veto what the elected government and the overwhelming majority of that Parliament actually wanted.

“For that is where we are heading.   To a situation in which no matter how Scotland votes it is the Tories who get to decide.”

He continued:

“Their repeated failure to consult is, they think, much less important than us refusing to go along uncomplainingly when we finally find out - usually through the media - about what they are doing.   

“And their refusal to compromise is projected onto us, though we have offered compromise after compromise in an effort to find a way forward

“But there are somethings you can’t compromise on.    And some people you can’t compromise with.

“We can’t compromise if irreversible damage is to be done to Scotland and all the people who live here.   We can’t compromise if the outcome would be damage to our country and its democracy.  And we can’t compromise with those who do not care about our future, but only about their moving backwards into an imaginary past.

“The Scottish Government will continue to defend Scotland’s Parliament, not because it is the best it could be, but because it is the best we presently have - and only with it in place can we make it better.

“We of course want to continue on the journey of Scottish democracy, to be honest to that description – from Donald Dewar himself - of our hard won new Parliament as a process, not an event, but we will not turn away from those who have a different view of the end point.   

“And we will behave in the same co-operative and collaborative way with those in the other devolved administrations when our shared rights are threatened.”

The Scottish Government’s Brexit Minister concluded:

“We have shown determination.

“Determination to protect the democratic settlement and structures we have

“Determination to preserve our links with Europe in the least damaging way possible

“Determination to support and assist - as much as we can - those who will suffer as a result of the actions of the UK Government

“I am honoured - if sometimes a little overwhelmed - to take forward the task of making the case for Scotland here, in the rest of the UK and in Europe. That case is solid one.  One built upon the firm foundations of democracy and fair dealing.

“I am determined to go on making it for as long as our country needs to have it made. Making it until that time when we finally get to choose between a backward looking isolationist Tory Brexit and an outward looking, inclusive, independent European future in which Scotland will stand on equal terms, peaceful and prosperous, with all the other countries on our continent of Europe. 

“And then moving forward with them.”

Read 313 times Last modified on Sunday, 10 June 2018 05:19

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