Ian Blackford: ‘Devolution under attack from Tory government’

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Ian Blackford has criticised the government for an “unprecedented attack” on the devolution of powers to Parliaments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The SNP’s Westminster leader battled with Boris Johnson on the issue during PMQs this afternoon.

Devolution is the transfer of some powers from central government to the regional law makers.

The clash follows the a government defeat in the House of Lords, where peers backed a commitment to the Sewel Convention - an agreement that states the UK Parliament must seek consent from devolved legislatures when passing laws on devolved matters.

Mr Blackford told the House of Commons: “Devolution is under attack from this Tory government, powers are being grabbed back to Westminster, there is no respect for the people of Scotland, for Wales and Northern Ireland, their governments or their decisions”.

Mr Johnson responded to the claims across the despatch box saying: “The right honourable gentleman knows full well that it is in no part or implication of the Sewel Convention to break up the oldest and most successful political union in the world.”

The Prime Minister has flatly rejected the “democratic case” set out by the SNP for a second Scottish independence referendum.

Nicola Sturgeon argued that her party’s taking of 48 of Scotland’s 59 seats in the general election showed a clear mandate for a second poll, as well as the fact that Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union.

Mr Johnson maintains that the 2014 vote was a “once in a generation” opportunity.

He argued today that the Scottish people recognised that his government “supports manufacturing in Scotland”, while accusing the SNP of supporting "nothing except the manufacturing of grievances”.

Read more

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