“MUNDELL MUST GO” – IAN BLACKFORD
Ian Blackford MP has said the Secretary of State for Scotland must step down for failing to protect the Scottish Parliament.
Speaking on Westminster Hour this evening, the SNP’s Westminster Leader said David Mundell failed to stand up for Scotland and he should reconsider his position.
The Scottish Parliament last week refused to consent to the UK government’s EU Withdrawal Bill. Labour, the Greens and the Lib Dems joined the SNP in an overwhelming rejection of the Withdrawal Bill as currently drafted – leaving the Tories isolated.
The rejection of the bill by the Scottish Parliament means the UK Government must now act to make changes to secure Holyrood’s consent before the EU Withdrawal Bill is passed by the Commons.
Mr Blackford said that if the UK Government doesn’t take steps to fix the bill, the Tories will be breaking the conventions that have governed nearly 20 years of devolution, and it will confirm that the Tories cannot be trusted to respect the Scottish Parliament that people across Scotland voted for.
David Mundell has been accused of making promises he can’t keep over the powers which would return to Holyrood when the UK leaves the EU.
Mr Mundell previously told the House of Commons that he wants to ensure the Scottish Parliament has more powers and responsibilities than it does today, and that “any frameworks should not be imposed.”
However the current proposals in the Brexit Bill would see all powers from Brussels initially return to Westminster, before some are passed on to the devolved legislatures in full and others are incorporated into UK-wide frameworks.
The Scottish Tories failed to bring forward amendments to the Brexit Bill to protect Scottish devolution, despite all their promises, and the Scottish Secretary is not included in UK Government Brexit talks.
Commenting, Ian Blackford MP said:
“David Mundell has failed to protect the Scottish Parliament – he must go.
“Mundell’s inability to protect the devolution settlement shows he can’t be trusted when it comes to getting the best deal for Scotland when the UK leaves the EU.
“The Scottish Secretary is supposed to be Scotland’s man in London but whenever the UK Government takes a major decision, he’s not invited to the table – and whenever the UK Government makes a decision that goes against Scotland’s interests, he goes into hiding rather than doing his job of challenging it.
“As the Scottish Tories are increasingly sidelined, they are letting us all down by failing to lift a finger to protect our national interests. Once again it falls to the SNP to stand up for Scotland.”