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LOCAL MP SETS OUT OPPOSITION TO UK GOVERNMENT’S FLAWED EU BILL



During the first day of debate on the UK government’s EU Withdrawal Bill, the SNP’s Europe spokesperson has set out the SNP’s opposition to the “flawed” Bill and warned that the Bill lays bare the betrayal of devolved administrations at risk of a Tory power grab. During the debate, MP for Glenrothes and Central Fife, Peter Grant, raised the SNP’s key concerns surrounding the EU Bill, including; the risk of a Westminster power grab against the devolved administrations, the dangers of the possibility of all-encompassing powers set out in Clause 9 of the Bill, the damaging impact of the UK’s exit from the Single Market and the impact on the lives of EU citizens who have made the UK their home. The SNP has tabled its own cross-party amendment that seeks to decline a second reading to the Bill as it fails to commit “to the transfer of devolved competencies coming back from the European Union to the devolved administrations; fails to provide for a unilateral guarantee on the rights of EU nationals in the UK and is not accompanied by any economic analysis by the Government of the full implications of withdrawal from the single market.” Peter Grant MP, the SNP’s Europe spokesperson, commented: “The UK government’s EU Bill contains so many serious flaws it’s difficult to know where to start. The Tory mantra on Brexit has been about ‘taking back control,’ however two decades on from when the people of Scotland voted for a Scottish Parliament, we find ourselves in the extraordinary position whereby the Tory government is intent on not just taking back control from Brussels, but also from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, in one of the most democratically outrageous power grabs. “The UK government cannot repeat the argument that it seeks a UK-wide approach when ministers have not met with the devolved administrations for seven months, and only after pressure from the SNP has the UK government finally agreed to live up to its own promises and meet - thus far on an undisclosed date. “As well as the risk to Scotland of a power grab, and the risk to the UK’s economy with the possible exit from the Single Market, there is a very real flaw in this Bill in that it offers no clarity to the three million EU nationals who have chosen the UK as their home and who contribute economically and socially. It offers no protection of their rights, it offers no protection to anyone’s rights. In fact it does the opposite. "The Bill will enable the government to have the right to repeal legislation on workers’ rights, without needing an Act of Parliament; the right to negotiate and conclude trade deals with the same disregard for parliamentary scrutiny as they currently exhibit, and the right to use these trade deals to turn the UK into a low wage, low rights sweat shop economy. "Every elected Scottish MP will have a crucial role in either granting this Tory government a pass to simply do as it pleases, or stand with SNP MPs in the lobby and deny the power grab they seek to achieve.”


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