Clause 28 - Functions of the CMA under this Part: general provisions

Part of United Kingdom Internal Market Bill – in the House of Commons at 2:45 pm on 15th September 2020.

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Photo of Neale Hanvey Neale Hanvey Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Health Team Member) 2:45 pm, 15th September 2020

This debate is focused on part 4, in which the authority of the Competition and Markets Authority and the wide-ranging and poorly specified powers of the UK Government’s man in Scotland are nothing short of a British nationalist inquisition. There are wide-ranging powers that cut to the very heart of the devolution settlement across every policy area—powers that the Government claim they will never use; they are there just in case. Well, Scotland is not buying it, and we are not having any of it. Devolution is the settled and robustly expressed will of the Scottish people, and it must be for the Scottish people alone to decide whether it should ever be restricted or changed in any way.

Part 4 of this wrecking-ball Bill takes decision-making powers away from Holyrood and hands them to the unelected body of the Office for the Internal Market. This office of inquisition will have the power to pass judgment on devolved laws and could quickly become the target of rich corporate lobbyists determined to see activities such as fracking go ahead against the will of the Scottish people.