Tuesday, 31 July 2018 04:59

COMMITTEE SLAMS UK GOV’T FOR LACK OF CONSULTATION WITH DEVOLVED GOV’TS

‘BLATANT WESTMINSTER POWER GRAB‘ IS RESULT OF TORY ARROGANCE
 
SNP MP Ronnie Cowan and member of the Westminster Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs (PACAC ) Committee, has said that the committee report published today (Tuesday ) shows a UK government  ‘completely bogged down in its own divisions’ and that had the Tories engaged with devolved administrations and had a ‘grown up conversation‘ we would all be in ‘a very different place’. 
 

The comments come as the cross party publishes the report on a growing consensus that inter-governmental relations mechanisms in the UK are ‘not fit for purpose’  and criticises the UK government on the lack of consultation following the Brexit vote.
 
The report concludes:  
 
‘It is highly regrettable that there was little consultation with devolved Governments in advance of the publication of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, as earlier consultation could have possibly avoided much of the acrimony that was created between the UK Government and the devolved Governments.’
 
The report adds to the concerns that Scotland is now facing a Westminster power grab which will rip powers over 24 key areas away from Scotland’s parliament after Brexit, including on fisheries, agriculture, the environment and food standards, and will impose future funding decisions and priorities upon Scotland
 
Ronnie Cowan MP commented:
 
“This latest report highlights the lack of trust, confidence and the divisions within the UK government itself -  as well as a system of inter-governmental relations in the UK which is simply not fit for purpose in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum.
 
‘’What we are witnessing  is a blatant Westminster power grab after twenty years of devolution. It is the arrogance of the Tories who think they can rip up the devolution settlement and transfer powers to Westminster. The fact that the committee is now questioning whether the Scotland Office and the office of Secretary of State are necessary is a humiliation for David Mundell who has clearly failed to justify his job.
 
‘’If the Tories had engaged with the devolved administrations after the Brexit referendum and had a grown up conversation that allowed for input and constructive criticism, then we could be in a very different place.
 
‘’Instead the UK government internalised all their rows and are completely bogged down in their own divisions.  When they did finally involve the devolved powers they did not engage in a constructive dialogue, they ignored sensible attempts at compromise
 
‘’This now leaves us all facing the possibility of a Hard Brexit or even worse the utter chaos of a No Deal – with all the damage that will do to Scotland and the rest of the UK.
 
‘’If this is the same management style that has been adopted while engaging with the E.U. 27 then it is no wonder the negotiations are in the shambolic state that they are.’’

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