Emer­gency de­bate to be held af­ter SNP’s walk­out

Party also calls for Scot­tish Sec­re­tary to re­sign over ‘power grab’

The Press and Journal (Moray) - - NEWS - 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

“David Mun­dell has failed to pro­tect 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: “While 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.” Scot­tish air­port bosses have called on politi­cians to sup­port the Heathrow ex­pan­sion.

West­min­ster will vote on pro­pos­als for a third run­way at the Lon­don air­port next month, but op­po­si­tion has strength­ened in re­cent weeks, with some Labour, Lib Dems and Con­ser­va­tives set to vote against the plans.

The Scot­tish Cham­bers of Com­merce have, how­ever, backed the pro­pos­als and the Scot­tish Govern­ment signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing back­ing ex­pan­sion in 2016.

Aberdeen and In­ver­ness are part of a group of 40 air­ports

“We be­lieve our coun­try stands to ben­e­fit”

in­cluded in an open let­ter call­ing for sup­port in the hope the ex­pan­sion will help boost trade and tourism links for Scot­land, un­lock­ing up to 16,100 jobs new jobs across the re­gion.

The let­ter states: “We be­lieve ev­ery cor­ner of our coun­try stands to ben­e­fit from the growth and trade that will stem from links to an ex­panded UK Hub air­port.

“Ex­pan­sion at Heathrow will pro­vide much-needed, long­haul con­nec­tiv­ity to our pas­sen­gers and will dou­ble the cargo ca­pac­ity for the ben­e­fit of UK exporters.

“Heathrow has al­ready shown its com­mit­ment to do­mes­tic con­nec­tiv­ity by re­duc­ing its do­mes­tic pas­sen­ger charges by £15 per pas­sen­ger since Jan­uary 2017, in­vest­ing in a £10 mil­lion fund to kick-start do­mes­tic routes and ring-fenc­ing new slots for do­mes­tic use.

“All of us, in ev­ery re­gion and na­tion of the UK, will ben­e­fit from a big­ger hub air­port.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.