IAN Blackford has warned MPs that the Tory Internal Market Bill “will take over the powers that have been returned to Scotland” with decentralization.
Speaking in the House of Commons on second reading of the bill, the SNP leader in Westminster described it as “an attack on democracy and an affront to the people of Wales, Scotland and d ‘North Ireland”.
Blackford said: “Over the past 21 years of devolution, the people of Scotland have benefited from the progressive and divergent priorities that our own governance has given us the freedom to pursue.
“They saw it, they lived it and they came to appreciate it fiercely. Even with limited power, the Scottish Parliament and our governments have always sought to tone down or reject the Conservative political directions mapped out at Westminster.
“We made our own way.”
He said the Tories “were trying to reclaim the powers that were given back to Scotland 21 years ago”.
“This is exactly what this law is designed to do. It is a frontal attack on the Scottish Parliament and an attack on Scottish democracy, ”he added.
READ MORE: Brexit: SNP slammed Tories for ‘bypassing Scottish government’ with takeover
Blackford warned that if the legislation were passed, the London government would be able “to intervene directly in all of these decentralized areas above the heads of the Scottish Parliament and our people”.
“There is only one way to stop them,” he added. “One answer, one option. The only way to defend the Scottish Parliament and its powers is to become independent.
“Our parliament will consider a new referendum bill before the end of 2021, the chance to choose an independent future is now looming. No amount of denial and Conservative disruption could stand in the way of the democratic right of the people of Scotland to choose a different and better future.
“Once that happens people will have a democratic say, and I am more confident than ever that they will choose to be part of a new Scotland, back in the heart of Europe. We can choose to leave the chaos and instability of Westminster behind. We can continue by becoming an independent, international and law-abiding nation. ”
Opening the debate in the Commons, Boris Johnson asserted that the Northern Ireland protocol went “far beyond common sense” and was being used by the EU “simply to exert leverage against the UK in our negotiations for a free trade agreement ”.
READ MORE: Brexit: Senior Tories refuse to back Boris Johnson’s illegal home market bill
Johnson said the measures in the Home Market Bill, which allow him to bypass the protocol agreed to with the EU in January, were “protection, it’s a safety net, it’s in a police insurance, and that’s a very reasonable measure ”.
He said the EU had threatened to block food exports from Britain to Northern Ireland.
Ed Miliband of Labor – representing the self-isolating Keir Starmer – said that was just plain wrong.
He said the debate was not a “leave versus stay” argument but “good versus bad”.
Miliband accused Johnson of “legislative hooliganism” and said he ignored warnings about how the Northern Ireland Protocol worked and the mediation measures in place.
He said in the House of Commons, “Let’s clear this up for a minute, because I think it’s important to take a step back. What the Prime Minister is coming to tell us in the House today is that his flagship achievement, the deal he told us was a triumph, the deal he said, as I said. said, was ready for the oven, the deal [on] that he fought and won the general election is now contradictory and ambiguous.
“What incompetence. What a failure of governance. And how dare he try to blame everyone. ”
READ MORE: Brexit: Joanna Cherry praises Ed Miliband for making PM ‘silly’
He continued: “There is an irony here that this bill does precisely nothing to address the issue of transporting food from Britain to Northern Ireland. These are two issues for which they will override international law.
“These are the exit declarations – from Northern Ireland to Great Britain – and the definition of state aid relating to Northern Ireland. If the Prime Minister wants to tell us that there is another part of this bill that we have not noticed that will deal with this supposed threat of blockade, I will give it up.
“I will very gladly give way to him and he can tell us – I’m sure he’s read it – I’m sure he knows it in detail because he’s a man of details.” Come on, tell us which clause protects the threat he says worries about Britain’s exports to Northern Ireland. I give way to him.
Johnson sat down with his arms crossed.
“There you go,” said Miliband. “He hasn’t read the protocol, he hasn’t read the bill, he doesn’t know his stuff.
READ MORE: Brexit: Douglas Ross denies Internal Market Bill is Tory takeover
Pete Wishart, SNP chairman of the Scottish Commons Special Committee on Scottish Affairs, told MPs: ‘Never before has there been such a sustained attack on our Parliament or our democracy.
“The invention and development of the idea of a single market in the UK has been one of the most spectacular and dishonest acts of political bickering we have seen in recent times.
“The bare nonsense of this surge is contradicted by virtually every detail of this bill.
He said section 46 of the bill allows the UK government to ‘legislate directly on devolved responsibilities’, adding: ‘It is a mechanism designed to bypass the Scottish government.’
However, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said the bill “cannot be a takeover” because “more than 100 more powers go to Holyrood, in the Scottish Parliament”.
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