Emer­gency de­bate to be held af­ter SNP’s walk­out

Brexit: Party also calls for Scot­tish Sec­re­tary to re­sign over ‘pow­er­grab’

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - NEWS - Fri­day, June 15, 2018 BY JEN­NIFER MCKIERNAN WESTMINSTER COR­RE­SPON­DENT

The SNP Westminster leader Ian Black­ford has se­cured an emer­gency de­bate on Brexit af­ter the SNP group staged a mass walk­out at the Home of Com­mons.

Mr Black­ford called for a de­bate on Westminster’s re­ten­tion of 24 de­volved pow­ers but was ex­pelled from the Com­mons on Wed­nes­day af­ter chal­leng­ing the Speaker.

SNP MPs all walked out of the build­ing be­hind

“DavidMun­dell has­failed topro­tect de­vo­lu­tion”

him as part of a protest against a lack of de­bat­ing time al­lo­cated be­fore a vote on the EU With­drawal Bill was made.

The group claims the UK Gov­ern­ment has been dis­re­spect­ing the de­vo­lu­tion set­tle­ment.

The mat­ter will be dis­cussed at the Supreme Court next month fol­low­ing a break­down in in­ter­gov­ern­men­tal talks.

MPs will now have a three-hour de­bate on Mon­day on the Sewel Con­ven­tion, which gov­erns the de­vo­lu­tion set­tle­ment, and how it should be ap­plied to the de­volved na­tions af­ter Brexit.

Dur­ing a heated de­bate yes­ter­day, Scot­tish AN­GRY SCENES: SNP Westminster leader Ian Black­ford speaks in the House of Com­mons be­fore he was kicked out, spark­ing a party walk­out

Sec­re­tary David Mun­dell in­sisted the Sewel Con­ven­tion only cov­ered nor­mal events and ar­gued Brexit was ex­tra­or­di­nary.

He said: “Wh i l e de­vo­lu­tion set­tle­ments did not pre­dict the exit from the EU, they did ex­plic­itly pro­vide that in sit­u­a­tions of dis­agree­ment, the UK Par­lia­ment may be re­quired to leg­is­late with­out the con­sent of the de­volved leg­is­la­tures.

“Scot­land is not a part­ner

of the United King­dom. Scot­land is part of the United King­dom.”

How­ever, Mr Mun­dell’s com­ments pro­voked fury from the SNP benches, with Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP Mr Black­ford hit­ting out at the Scot­tish Sec­re­tary for sup­port­ing the UK gov­ern­ment’s EU With­drawal Bill.

“David Mun­dell has shafted Scot­land by fail­ing to pro­tect de­vo­lu­tion from this Tory power grab,”

said Mr Black­ford. “His po­si­tion is now com­pletely un­ten­able and he must re­sign.

“The Tories may think they can do what­ever they like to Scot­land and get away with it – but this at­tack on the pow­ers of the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment can­not be tol­er­ated.

“The UK gov­ern­ment must re­spect the demo­cratic will of the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment and re­solve this con­sti­tu­tional

cri­sis by end­ing the power grab now.

“The SNP will fight tooth and nail to de­fend the de­vo­lu­tion set­tle­ment that the peo­ple of Scot­land voted for and to pro­tect th­ese im­por­tant pow­ers.

“Scot­land will not be si­lenced and there will be no busi­ness as usual.”

SNP col­league Ste­wart McDon­ald asked fel­low MPs to con­sider the tac­tics used by the late

Ir­ish na­tion­al­ist Charles Ste­wart Par­nell to se­cure Ir­ish in­de­pen­dence.

“He, of course, along with his col­leagues at the time, suc­cess­fully used the Stand­ing Or­ders of the House to frus­trate Gov­ern­ment busi­ness,” said Mr McDon­ald.

“Given the way Ire­land has this Gov­ern­ment over a bar­rel at the minute, it might just be that those tac­tics are of in­ter­est at the present time.”

Alas­dair France, two, takes part in the Hands Off Our Par­lia­ment de­mon­stra­tion out­side the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment in Ed­in­burgh as SNP party num­bers get a surge

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