The Scottish Parliament has formally opposed the UK government starting the Brexit process – and Stuart McMillan MSP has stated that the UK Government must now demonstrate that Scotland’s voice is being listened to.
On Tuesday, MSPs voted on a Scottish Government motion arguing that the UK Government’s European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill currently making its way through the Commons should not proceed.
90 MSPs voted in favour of the Scottish Government motion, as amended by the Greens, with 34 against.
The motion argues that UK Ministers have “set out no provision for effective consultation with the devolved administrations on reaching an agreed UK approach to the negotiations on implementing Article 50”.
It adds that the UK Government “has refused to give a guarantee on the position of EU nationals in the UK, has left unanswered a range of detailed questions covering many policy areas regarding the full implications of withdrawal from the single market, and has provided no assurance that a future parliamentary vote on the outcome of the negotiations will be anything other than irrelevant”.
Greenock and Inverclyde MSP Stuart McMillan said that the Scottish Parliament had sent a resounding message.
“This vote is more than symbolic – it’s a key test for the UK Government to show that Scotland’s interests are fully appreciated and demonstrated within the UK process.
“The Scottish Government has worked to deliver compromise proposals, which would allow Scotland to stay in the single market even in the rest of the UK leaves.
“The Prime Minister has given assurances that Scotland would be fully engaged in the Brexit process; that options for Scotland would be listened to and that Article 50 would not be triggered until there were UK objectives for negotiations. These proposals must now be part of the Article 50 process.
“It’s time now for the Prime Minister to actually show that she is listening to Scotland and is engaging genuinely with the Scottish Government.
“The UK is moving headlong to Brexit without a roadmap. The UK attempting to secure any trade deal could place vital public services including our NHS putting Scottish and UK jobs and the economy at risk.”