The SNP has said Scottish Tory MPs are “rubber-stamping” the biggest attack on devolution in the history of the Scottish Parliament – after the Tory government forced through its Trade Bill, which sidelines the devolved nations from trade talks and threatens to set a precedent of devolved administrations being overridden in devolved areas.
Tory MPs voted down SNP amendments, which would have enshrined protections for the NHS, food and consumer standards in law and ensured the Scottish Government and other devolved administrations would play a central role in the negotiations.
SNP Shadow Foreign Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) Alyn Smith MP said:
‘Scottish Tory MPs have badly let their constituents down, meekly going along with Boris Johnson’s shocking attack on devolution. SNP amendments would have enshrined in law current protections, whilst securing a role for devolved governments across the 4 nations.
‘These amendments were sensible and level-headed – any politician with an iota of respect for devolution, the ‘Union of equals’ and the Scottish Government would have backed them.
‘Instead, Scottish Tory MPs fell in line with the UK Government circus, and now devolved areas of policy are under the threat of being overruled in future trade deals. Our NHS, food, consumer and environmental standards – they will all end up on the negotiating table as the UK Government desperately scrambles to piece together a post-Brexit trade deal with Donald Trump.
‘My constituents in Stirling did not vote for this. They rejected Brexit, and reject the nightmarish future the UK Government is trying to foist on Scotland.
‘I’ll continue to work with parliamentary colleagues to resist any attempt to roll-back devolution – but with the threat from Westminster growing, it is clearer than ever that the only way to properly protect Scotland’s interests and our place at the heart of Europe is to become an independent country.’
Notes for Editors:
Scottish Tory MPs voted in favour of the bill and voted against key SNP amendments to protect devolved areas: https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/58-01/0120/amend/trade_rm_rep_0716.pdf