Local politicians denounce Westminster Brexit power grab

Inverclyde’s SNP politicians have further criticised the UK Government’s attempts to ban the Scottish Parliament from legislating on some reserved areas, and for trying to claw back some of these powers.

Stuart McMillan MSP and Ronnie Cowan MP expressed their dismay over the EU Withdrawal Bill which they believe undermines the current Devolution settlement.

As well as this, Mr. McMillan and Mr. Cowan highlighted the UK Government’s poor attempt at a compromise on the Bill, whereby Westminster gave a political commitment that it will ‘not normally’ use the Clause 15 (formally 11) regulations without the consent of the devolved parliaments. This clause would allow the UK Government to take back devolved powers without the consent of the Scottish Parliament. 

Commenting after speaking in the debate, Mr McMillan said:

“The only party in the Scottish Parliament to support the UK Government is the Tories. They have a government in London to adhere to instead of constituents to represent.

“In the chamber today I highlighted how important a political commitment is but also of how little worth it will be when the political actors at Westminster will change. As a poor attempt at a compromise, the UK Government has given a political commitment that it will ‘not normally’ use the clause 15 regulations without the consent of the devolved parliaments. This commitment isn’t worth the paper it’s written upon.

“That’s why the Scottish Parliament must still reject the EU Withdrawal Bill because the Tory attempts at compromise are not good enough to satisfy Scotland’s concerns, needs and interests.

“We need a level playing field, we need the trust and open communication the two institutions should have between them, and that can only be achieved if there is a balance of power between them.”

Ronnie Cowan MP and Member of Constitutional Affairs Select Committee added:

“The UK Government must not perform a power grab where powers over devolved competencies are taken away from Scotland. Therefore, repatriated EU powers must return to the Scottish Parliament in areas where it is wholly or partly responsible such as agriculture and fisheries.

“Scotland’s interests are best protected by remaining in the Single Market and Customs Union. This is something I will continue to raise at Westminster alongside my colleagues.”

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