Hard Brexit 'puts Scottish devolution in danger'
Tories pushing for a Hard Brexit are putting Scottish devolution at risk, the country's deputy first minister has warned.
John Swinney claimed that key legislation necessary for Britain to leave the European Union "undermines the principles of devolution and the powers of the Scottish Parliament that the people of Scotland campaigned so long to win".
The Scottish government's repeated insistence that the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill is a "power grab" comes as Theresa May was accused of being "too weak" to face down Hard Brexiteers in her party after more than 60 Conservative MPs set out their demands for the next stage of exit talks.
UK Brexit secretary David Davis will meet senior figures from the devolved administrations in London tomorrow in a bid to resolve the deadlock between Holyrood and Westminster.
With discussions taking place Mr Swinney said the "next few weeks are likely to be as important for Scotland's future as any in our recent history".
You may also want to watch:
The Scottish government has already produced a report claiming a Hard Brexit, with Britain leaving the EU without a trade deal, could cost Scotland's economy £12.7bn a year by 2030.
Writing in the Daily Record newspaper, Mr Swinney said: "Despite the overwhelming vote in Scotland for Remain, the Tories are pursuing a Hard Brexit no matter the cost to jobs and living standards.
- 1 The greatest failure of government in our lifetime
- 2 Leave EU website suspended after EU registry blocks move to Ireland
- 3 The bigot we should have called out on day one
- 4 Boris Johnson claims Labour supporters using Universal Credit vote to incite hatred
- 5 Comedian wins praise after shaming No 10 during Dancing on Ice appearance
- 6 The polling that signals the plight of the Union
- 7 Television drama to focus on Boris Johnson's first year in Downing Street
- 8 Dominic Raab 'not convinced' collapse of fishing businesses would be result of Brexit deal
- 9 Brexiteer says he'd never have voted for Brexit 'if we knew we'd lose our jobs'
- 10 Matt Hancock praises free school meals before being reminded he voted against them
"Brexit poses a threat not just to our economy - it is now a threat to the hard-won devolution settlement which people in Scotland voted for so decisively in 1997."
Scottish Brexit minister Mike Russell, who will represent the Scottish government in the talks tomorrow, said on Twitter that a deal could still be done, but only if the UK Government wanted to.
He said: "A deal can only be done in London tomorrow if @GOVUK wants to agree on frameworks rather then impose them. Westminster proposals aim to take away Scotland's say on most important issues."
Article by @JohnSwinney & I today makes it clear a deal can only be done in London tomorrow if @GOVUK wants to agree on frameworks rather then impose them.....Westminster proposals aim to take away Scotland's say on most important issues - Daily Record https://t.co/K2B5gEbSLH
-- Michael Russell (@Feorlean) February 21, 2018
The Scottish and Welsh administrations have repeatedly warned that clause 11 of the EU Withdrawal Bill is a "power grab", as it transfers devolved powers currently held by the EU to Westminster in the first instance - something the Conservative government continues to insist is necessary to allow common frameworks to be set up across the UK.
With UK ministers having so far failed to bring forward amendments to the legislation, Mr Swinney said it "remains a powers grab in critical areas at the heart of the devolution settlement".
SNP ministers at Holyrood are "simply seeking to protect the devolution settlement and to ensure the Scottish Parliament has the powers in full that the people of Scotland voted for", he added.
"We will never recommend giving consent to a Bill that undermines the principles of devolution and the powers of the Scottish Parliament that the people of Scotland campaigned for so long to win."
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.