IAN BLACKFORD:MP for Ross, Skye & Lochaber

EU WITHDRAWAL: SCOTTISH TORIES MUST SUPPORT EFFORTS TO PROTECT DEVOLUTION

Ian Blackford MP has called on the Scottish Tories in Westminster to work with the SNP to protect devolution. MPs will vote on the EU Withdrawal Bill today (Monday), which poses the biggest power grab on devolved administrations since 1999.

The SNP has said it would not support the Bill as it stands, and called on the Scottish Tories to support their amendment which aims to ensure devolved administrations have equal consultation on the Bill.

Mr Blackford said Clause 11 of the EU Withdrawal Bill creates “the biggest power grab Scotland’s Parliament has faced since being reconvened in 1999.”

Commenting, Ian Blackford MP said:

“The Tories must stand with the SNP today and vote for our amendment if they are serious about protecting the Scottish Parliament.

“The Scottish Government reiterated the importance of the devolved administrations being fully involved in the Brexit negotiations. Good progress has been made in several areas, most specifically on the issue of UK frameworks. However this Bill does not go far enough.

“Clause 11 so fatally undermines the devolved settlements across the UK, both the Welsh and Scottish Governments have worked together in tabling amendments to the Bill.

“It’s clear to the legal profession and experts that Clause 11 has been drafted without proper understanding of devolution law. This undoubtedly raises questions about the mechanisms used in Clause 11.

“For the SNP it is clear. The Bill needs to be amended to ensure that control over devolved issues – such as farming, fishing and food – comes to Holyrood. All powers in devolved areas returning from Brussels must be returned to the Scottish Parliament– anything less would breach the founding principles of devolution and would be a complete betrayal of promises made during the EU referendum.

“The Scottish Tories must join with the SNP today and support our amendment – and protect devolution.”

ENDS