Nationalists furious over devolved powers ‘at risk’
Relations between the Scottish and UK governments have reached a new low as SNP leaders threatened to withdraw their co-operation with Westminster, accusing Conservatives there of forcing through a Brexit “power grab”.
Scottish Government ministers and SNP MPs were outraged when amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill related to devolution were passed by the House of Commons after just 15 minutes of debate.
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said: “I’m afraid the normal relationships between the Scottish and Westminster governments have to be impacted by this.”
It comes as ministers in Edinburgh and London have been engaged in a stand-off over what should happen to powers returning to the UK after Brexit. While Conservatives at Westminster say some of these must come to parliament to allow for common frameworks to be established in areas such as agriculture and environmental regulations, ministers at Holyrood fear the powers of the Scottish Parliament could be restrained for up to seven years.
Scottish Secretary David Mundell hit out at the Nationalists for “constitutional posturing”, saying it was “quite clear that it was never going to be possible to get agreed amendments because quite simply the Scottish Government, the SNP, Nicola Sturgeon have a different view of the constitution from everybody else”.
Mr Blackford said: “He ought to resign and the fact we have seen powers taken from the Scottish Parliament and our elected representatives have not been able to debate this is an utter, utter disgrace.”