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

Part of United Kingdom Internal Market Bill – in the House of Commons at 5:45 pm on 15th September 2020.

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Photo of Drew Hendry Drew Hendry Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) 5:45 pm, 15th September 2020

Mr Evans, it is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship. I must admit I am still reeling somewhat from the irony of the Government opposing amendment 29 on the basis of political intrusion.

We have heard today from those who support independence and from those who are diehard Unionists in this Chamber. We have heard the concerns of the Welsh Government. Can I say that it is not a manufactured grievance to have these concerns from the Welsh Government, because they are genuine concerns? But that is true for Scotland, too. These are not manufactured problems; these are real-world problems.

I have to say that the Labour Front-Bench speech was warmly welcomed by those on the Conservative Benches today. The party that brought devolution in—the party of John Smith—undermining devolution in the way it did during that speech deserves some proper reflection.

In this debate, we have heard some warm words, but again, we have had absolutely no detail on how this is actually going to be protecting devolution. It is not. We have had no detail on the Office for the Internal Market. Who is going to be in that unelected body? How can we vouch for the integrity of anybody when we do not know who is going to be on that body and who is going to elect them—or who is going to appoint them, I should say?

The Minister talked about alcohol minimum pricing, which by definition is a discriminatory policy in Scotland. How can that possibly be protected under these measures? It cannot be. If we choose in Scotland and if the Scottish people vote for policies aimed at public health that cause the problem, the Bill still undermines the ability to do that.

The Government are determined to continue with their programme of overriding the Scottish Parliament and its elected representatives, and this underlines the fact that Scotland will never be seen as an equal member of the UK. We do not accept this. The people in Scotland are saying, and it is reported in poll after poll, that the only way to protect our Parliament is to be an independent nation.

Mr Evans, I press our amendment 28.

Question put, That the amendment be made.

The Committee proceeded to a Division.