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European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:27 pm on 22nd October 2019.

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Photo of Ian Blackford Ian Blackford SNP Westminster Leader 3:27 pm, 22nd October 2019

I see the Minister shaking his head, but I am afraid that that is a matter of fact. That was the first time in the 20-year history of devolution that any Government legislated on devolved matters without Scotland’s consent. That shameful act was a direct and deliberate downgrading of our devolution settlement. It disrespected those who voted in the devolution referendum of 1997 and the Scotland Act 1998, which defined the limitations of Westminster’s powers and established that this place could not interfere without consent, and it undermined the Sewel convention, breaking once again the promises that the Conservatives made to the Scottish people. SNP Members made their anger known at those actions. I pleaded on that day—before you threw me out of the House, Mr Speaker, and I do not quibble with your judgment—that Scotland would not stand for it, and we will not.

Let Members on all Benches be warned: if they support the Government today, they will show disregard for the Scottish Parliament and the sovereign will of the Scottish people, and there will be a price to be paid. It is worth noting that in their letter to the Prime Minister, the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales were clear that that extension must be sought.