Not so fast Sturgeon! SNP destroyed over using Boris’s Brexit masterplan to ‘split up UK’ | Politics | News

2 weeks ago recordnews Comments Off on Not so fast Sturgeon! SNP destroyed over using Boris’s Brexit masterplan to ‘split up UK’ | Politics | News


The SNP have furiously opposed the Prime Minister’s Internal Market Bill, which was passed by MPs with a majority of 77 in the Commons on Monday. The party’s business spokesman Drew Hendry claimed the Bill proved Scotland will never be an equal partner in the UK. He added it contained measures which “attack the foundations of devolution” in Scotland despite Boris Johnson insisting the Bill would give additional powers to Holyrood.

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Meanwhile Scottish Conservative Leader Douglas Ross MP has revealed how the Bill will actually protect more than half a million jobs in Scotland, in a brutal swipe at the SNP’s criticisms.

He told Express.co.uk: “The UK Internal Market Bill is essential to protect the 545,000 jobs in Scotland that rely on UK trade, and ensure the unrestricted movement of goods across this country.

“That’s why I voted in favour of it last night, allowing the bill to progress to committee stage where over the next two weeks, MPs will be able to debate and vote on a range of amendments.

“Putting half a million jobs at risk in the middle of a pandemic is not an option, so I voted for the bill at this stage to make sure that safety net for Scottish jobs is there.”

The SNP has been lambasted over its criticism of the Internal Market Bill (Image: GETTY)

Dean Lockhart MSP, Scottish Conservative constitution spokesperson added the SNP is using the Bill to “split up the UK”.

He told Express.co.uk: “It is no surprise the SNP are against this bill as they want to split up the United Kingdom at all costs, even if it has a devastating effect on jobs and livelihoods across Scotland.

“This legislation is essential in order to ensure that Scotland’s links with its most important market are not only maintained but can be built upon going forward.”

The Bill contains new additions which seek to override contentious elements of the Brexit withdrawal agreement relating to Northern Ireland.

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Boris Johnson defended the new legislation for protecting Northern Ireland (Image: PA)

Mr Johnson said the changes, which would breach parts of international law, are needed to protect the trading arrangements between Great Britain and Northern Ireland if no trade deal is reached with the EU by end of the transition period on December 31, 2020.

Speaking on the first day of the Bill’s committee stage, Mr Hendry said: “We cannot and we will not accept this legislation in any form.

“Under the unelected Dominic Cummings, Britain’s Prime Minister is forcing this power grab through despite overwhelming opposition from Scotland’s Parliament and MPs.

“It proves that Scotland will never ever be accepted as an equal partner in the UK.

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MPs voted to pass the Internal Market Bill on Monday (Image: PA)

“This attacks the foundations of devolution and gives Westminster and an unelected quango a freehand to overrule the Scottish Parliament in devolved areas, threatening our NHS, our food and environmental standards and fires the starting pistol on a race to the bottom.”

But Conservative Sir Bill Cash, chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee, said: “The arguments I’ve just heard from (Mr Hendry) are in my judgment completely unjustified.

“The reality is what is intended in this Bill is to provide for independent advice and monitoring through the creation of this internal market itself, within the Competition and Markets Authority arrangements.

“What that clearly says, far from it being just a bunch of nodding donkeys, which is more or less what (Mr Hendry) is saying, in fact it will be a non-ministerial department albeit sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – it will have an enormous amount of range of experience and knowledge, which is brought from its predecessor.”

The UK has made changes to its Withdrawal Agreement with the EU (Image: EXPRESS)

Meanwhile, SNP’s Neale Hanvey, MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, branded the proposed Office for the Internal Market the “office of inquisition”.

He said: “This office of inquisition will have the power to pass judgment on devolved laws, could quickly become the target of rich corporate lobbyists determined to see activities such as fracking go ahead against the will of the Scottish people.

“Wide-ranging powers that cut to the very heart of a devolution settlement across every policy area, powers they claim they will never use, they’re just there in case.

“Well Scotland isn’t buying it and we’re not having any of it.”

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross outlined why Scotland will need the Bill (Image: GETTY)

SNP colleague Alyn Smith, MP for Stirling, added the proposed Office for the Internal Market would be made up of “a group of people who will themselves be unelected”.

He said: “For people who are against unelected bureaucrats, I can only suggest that they have a look at the reality of this Bill.”

The Bill completed the first day of committee stage without being changed.

An SNP amendment and Labour amendment were both defeated by the Government.