Article 50

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:39 pm on 24th January 2017.

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Photo of Stephen Gethins Stephen Gethins Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Europe) 12:39 pm, 24th January 2017

First, I welcome the judgment and anything that strengthens parliamentary scrutiny of this process. There was a time, back in the dim and distant past, when the Secretary of State was a great champion of parliamentary scrutiny, so I am sure that, deep down inside, he welcomes the judgment as well.

I wonder why the Government fear parliamentary scrutiny. Is it because they might be found out? Is it because we will find out that the emperor in these circumstances has no clothes? They talk of democracy, but I gently remind the Secretary of State that in Scotland at the general election, the Conservatives got their worst result since 1865. They have one MP.

We are told today that this is a political decision, and as a political decision on the role of the devolved Administrations, I hope that this Parliament and this Government will continue not to legislate on areas that are the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament without its consent. Today’s judgment said that this process should enhance devolution. If that is the case, will the Secretary of State tell us today that no powers will be returned from the Scottish Parliament to Westminster during the course of this process, and will he seek consent from the Scottish Parliament before legislating in areas over which it has responsibility?