LEGISLATION TO ‘HELP PROTECT ISLANDS POST-BREXIT’
Alasdair Allan, SNP MSP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar has welcomed the passage tonight of the Scottish Government’s continuity bill at Stage 3. The Bill was passed by 95 votes to 32.
The Bill is being introduced after the UK Government’s EU (Withdrawal) Bill was called “incompatible with the devolution settlement” by a cross-party Holyrood committee.
The Continuity Bill will come into effect if the Scottish Parliament decides not to consent to the EU Withdrawal Bill and will prevent what ministers have described as a “power grab”. The purpose of the Continuity Bill is to ensure Scotland’s laws will still work properly on the day the UK leaves the EU.
Alasdair Allan said:
“It is great news that the Scottish Government’s Continuity Bill has passed at Stage 3, despite the best efforts of Conservative members who made various attempts to filibuster and sabotage the passage of this key piece of legislation. This Bill is vital in protecting the Scottish Parliament's powers and is only going forward because the Tories are attempting a post-Brexit power-grab on Scotland.
“If the Tories’ Withdrawal Bill at Westminster continues to demonstrate a clear intention to diminish the powers of our Parliament, every MSP who believes in the Scottish Parliament itself itself will have a duty to withhold consent. That is why this bill is so important – it prepares our statute books for life post-Brexit.
“I am opposed to leaving the EU in line with the majority of people in our islands, and across Scotland, but the Scottish Government has a duty to prepare our laws for Brexit.
“This is very important for us here in the islands, as it ensures legislative certainty, stability and predictability for the people who live and work here, as well as those who do business here and with Europe.
“The UK Government is pandering to the hard-line Brexiteers, and ignoring Scotland’s views and needs at almost every turn. This week the Tories look like they are selling out our fishing industry, and they look set to use EU Withdrawal as an excuse to strip our parliament of the powers we voted for decisively in 1997. The Scottish Government is taking decisive actions to attempt to mitigate Tory recklessness. The UK Government must start listening, and stop taking such a reckless and disrespectful approach.”