Scottish Conservatives silent as UK Government commits Power Grab
December 5, 2017
Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has strongly criticised the Scottish Conservative MPs who voted against amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill which would’ve protected the devolved responsibilities of the Scottish Parliament despite many of them voicing concerns about the Bill as it stands.
In a midnight vote on Tuesday morning, SNP MPs voted for amendments to Clause 11, and against the unamended clause, which has been described as the biggest power grab by Westminster since the establishment of the Scottish Parliament in 1999. East Renfrewshire Tory MP Paul Masterton described it as, "not fit for purpose".
The SNP's amendments would have protected the 111 powers that currently reside with the Scottish Parliament but which might now be lost due to Clause 11 of the Withdrawal Bill supported by Scottish Conservative MPs.
Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:
“Last night’s vote was a sad day for those who support Scottish devolution, as the UK Government with the support of the Scottish Conservative MPs, voted through a clause to the EU Withdrawal Bill which quite simply is the biggest Westminster power grab on the Scottish Parliament since it reconvened in 1999.
“62% of Scots want to see responsibilities over devolved areas currently held by Europe transferred straight to the Scottish Parliament. However, this latest set of Brexit shenanigans creates the conditions whereby up to 111 powers under the current responsibility of the Scottish Parliament will be transferred back to Westminster. Once again, Westminster and the Scottish Tories have failed to respect our Scottish Parliament.
“Ruth Davidson told us all that her Scottish Conservative MPs would stand up for Scotland and for the interests of the Scottish Parliament. However, time and time again they’ve shown themselves to act only in the interest of the Tory Chief Whip.
“The Tories are trying to use the Brexit mess that they’ve created to roll back on the very principles of devolution. The SNP will continue to campaign against their regressive approach and stand up for the Scottish Parliament.”