Tuesday, 12 June 2018 04:55

EU WITHDRAWAL BILL: OPPOSITION PARTIES MUST UNITE AGAINST TORY POWER GRAB

The SNP has called on opposition parties to unite behind their amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill today (Tuesday) to protect the devolution settlement.

Ian Blackford MP said Labour and the Lib Dems must recognise the recent Scottish Parliament vote which refused to give consent to Westminster’s damaging Brexit legislation.

The SNP has tabled amendments to the UK Government’s EU Withdrawal Bill to protect the Scottish Parliament from a power grab as the UK leaves the European Union.

Mr Blackford also warned that Labour could ‘leave the door open’ for the Tories to breach the devolution settlement as their amendments to the Brexit legislation would leave Holyrood exposed to having powers taken without consent in any area connected to an international agreement - including trade deals, environmental standards and food safety - all areas of key concern to the Scottish Parliament.

The amendments to the former clause 11 of the bill, in the name of Jeremy Corbyn, Lesley Laird, Keir Starmer and others, would require the consent of the Scottish Parliament - unless a UK Minister “has reasonable grounds for believing that the regulations are required for the purpose of giving effect to any international obligations.”

Commenting, SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford MP said:

“The Tories think they can do whatever they want to Scotland and get away with it - other parties in Westminster must unite against their attempt at a power grab on devolved administrations and support our amendements.

“The SNP has tabled our amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill to protect the Scottish Parliament from the Tories’ power grab and today (Tuesday) we will make clear that a failure to amend this bill and to listen to the views of the Scottish Parliament will be a decision that will haunt the Tories for generations.

“The Tories haven't won a democratic mandate from the people of Scotland for over 60 years, yet they are planning constraints on Holyrood’s existing powers without consent. It would be a democratic outrage – and it would fly in the face of the fundamental principles of devolution.

“Labour could find themselves guilty of leaving the door open to the Tories powergrab as their proposals continue to allow Holyrood’s powers to be constrained and controlled without Holyrood’s consent - going way beyond the current Scotland Act. That is something which Holyrood refused consent for last month by an overwhelming majority including all parties except the Tories.

“This Tory government seems determined to destroy the founding principles of devolution. Labour and the Lib Dems must join us in defending it.”

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