Claim of Right for Scotland

Part of Opposition Day - [15TH Allotted Day, 1ST Part]Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 5:46 pm on 4th July 2018.

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Photo of Ian Blackford Ian Blackford SNP Westminster Leader 5:46 pm, 4th July 2018

No, I will not—I am going to make progress.

Westminster cannot unilaterally rewrite the devolution settlement and impose UK-wide frameworks in devolved areas without consent. The truth of the matter is that right from the start of the Brexit process, we have seen the UK Government attempting to avoid all attempts at democratic engagement. It took a decision from the courts to force them to consult Parliament over the decision to trigger article 50. Similarly, the UK Government ignored all requests from the devolved Administrations to be involved in the process of triggering article 50, despite Scotland voting overwhelmingly to remain in the EU. Where was the respect? Where was the engagement? There was none.

The Tories have not just ignored the will of the Scottish Parliament; they ignore the interests of the Scottish people. For years, their austerity agenda has punished the people of Scotland. The Tory obsession with punishing the poor and protecting the rich has seen families struggle in hardship, women denied their right to a fair pension, and women who were victims rape made to justify their rights to child benefit. It is absolutely shameful. The policies of this Tory Government are morally repugnant and have no place in a civilised, compassionate Scotland.

On 26 January 2012, Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, led a debate on the claim of right with the motion that Parliament

“acknowledge the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of government best suited to their needs, and do hereby declare and pledge that in all our actions and deliberations their interests shall be paramount.”

At that time, 102 MPS voted for the motion, with 14 Tories voting against—the same old Tories voting against the sovereignty of the Scottish people. Even then, the Tories could not, would not, stand up for the Scottish people.