SNP pledges more action over Brexit bill

Murdo Fraser

Murdo Fraser

The passing of the EU Withdrawal Bill meant powers which were supposed to return to the Scottish Parliament after the United Kingdom leaves the EU would go to Westminster for a period of seven years, a move which SNP MPs broke with the Sewel convention that changes to devolution would not occur without the consent of the Scottish Parliament.

The opposition centres on fears that the bill could constrain Holyrood's powers in some key areas for up to seven years - although the vast majority of powers returning from Brussels after Brexit will go straight to the Scottish Parliament.

Mr Blackford said Scotland had been "plunged into a constitutional crisis" as a result of the UK Government's actions and demanded that emergency legislation be brought forward.

He conceded that there "should have been a much more substantial debate" on Tuesday, but blamed Labour for this, saying most of the time had been taken up with votes in the Commons that had been pressed for by Jeremy Corbyn's party.

"So we won't be power grabbing, we won't be overriding the Scottish Parliament, we will be seeking their consent on all of the matters that this bill relates to".

Asked if it was a stunt, he replied: "Under standing orders I was entitled to push for that vote today on the basis of the lack of respect that the Conservative government and Theresa May have shown". "Where is the respect to the Scottish people?"

"We hear from the Prime Minister about respecting devolution".

Liddell-Grainger later told Somerset Live that he had "made a remark about "political suicide" and that critics could "take their objections and stuff them".

"I've just been advised that the father is the Honourable Gentleman the Member for Norwich South - I'm not going to go so far as to say his behaviour is always impeccable, but the little baby has been impeccable and I think we salute that. But the Prime Minister has ignored Scotland". "I hope he will trust me that I know of what I speak...there will be a division at the end of this session not now". And Blackford's fellow SNP MPs walked out too. Blackford told BBC News afterwards that he was within his democratic rights to call for an immediate vote within the House, and the walk out was in protest against "the complete disrespect". Look at this morning's interview with Scottish secretary David Mundell, who was repeatedly asked why there was next to no time given for debate of issues related to devolution.

"I have a duty.to stand up against betrayal against Scottish people and the power grab that has taken place", Blackford added.

Green MP Caroline Lucas said she could "completely sympathise" with the walk out.

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