Results 1–20 of 1664 for speaker:Neil Gray

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on Devolution) (17 Nov 2022)

Neil Gray: The Scottish Government welcomes the committee’s thoughtful, important and unanimous report, and I join the convener, Clare Adamson, in thanking members and the clerks for their work on it. The report clearly demonstrates that the impact of Brexit on devolution has been entirely negative. In the committee’s words, “there are fundamental concerns which need to be addressed by the...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on Devolution) (17 Nov 2022)

Neil Gray: Martin Whitfield speaks with some authority, having served in that house “down the road”, and I agree that that would be a very useful measure for bringing to the attention of colleagues down the road the implications of what they are debating and deciding. That would be a novel prospect for colleagues down the road to consider; however, I do not hold my breath for that coming about,...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on Devolution) (17 Nov 2022)

Neil Gray: Across the Parliament, we want to continue to align with the European Union as closely as possible. Unfortunately, the actions of Westminster have made it very difficult for us to do that in all cases. However, we will always seek to ensure, as far as possible, that we can maintain the high standards of EU regulation—in spite of the fact that we are expecting a bin fire of regulation from...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on Devolution) (17 Nov 2022)

Neil Gray: I welcome Maurice Golden’s comments about the importance of the devolution settlement being respected, but will he advise colleagues how he expects that respect agenda to be continued if Westminster Governments continue to ignore the Scottish Parliament and the Senedd refusing legislative consent in areas of devolved responsibility?

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on Devolution) (17 Nov 2022)

Neil Gray: Does Willie Rennie accept that there has been a clear impact on devolution, given the six areas that we have talked about in which legislative consent has been refused by the Scottish Parliament but that the Westminster Government has continued to progress, and the probability of its continuing to do so on the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill?

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on Devolution) (17 Nov 2022)

Neil Gray: I find Oliver Mundell’s comments astounding, because I am old enough to remember—and because I sat in the House of Commons at the time—that, when the Scottish Government put forward suggestions of a compromise, they were rejected out of hand by Theresa May. That was right before she set out her statement at Lancaster house—the statement that set out her self-defeating red lines. On...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on Devolution) (17 Nov 2022)

Neil Gray: Will the member accept an intervention?

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on Devolution) (17 Nov 2022)

Neil Gray: I appreciate your generosity, Presiding Officer. I will look to cover as much of what has been said in the debate as I can, in order to fulfil the time requirement that has been set for me. In my opening remarks, I set out the Scottish Government’s views on the important issues that are identified in the committee’s report on Brexit and devolution. In these closing remarks, I want to...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on Devolution) (17 Nov 2022)

Neil Gray: In two seconds. Independence is the only route back to the EU. That will be uncomfortable for Sarah Boyack and Willie Rennie, given their otherwise excellent speeches about the permanent costs of Brexit to Scotland. Also inconvenient for Willie Rennie is his plea not to link Brexit to independence, given that the people of Scotland are doing just that—and no wonder, as 70-plus per cent,...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on Devolution) (17 Nov 2022)

Neil Gray: I will give way to Sarah Boyack, and I will then happily come back to Willie Rennie.

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on Devolution) (17 Nov 2022)

Neil Gray: To be clear, I think that I have more in common with Sarah Boyack than Sarah Boyack will have in some respects—referring to what I am about to talk about—with her own Labour colleagues. The inconvenient truth for Sarah Boyack is that the Labour Party wishes to maintain Brexit. Granted, we want to see the back of the Tories, and I want to see their defeat at the next general election, but...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on Devolution) (17 Nov 2022)

Neil Gray: Sorry—I forgot to give way to Willie Rennie.

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on Devolution) (17 Nov 2022)

Neil Gray: Willie Rennie appealed for me to be reasonable; he then came forward with a rather unreasonable and inaccurate intervention. I do not recognise the characterisation that Willie Rennie gave in either the first part or the latter part of his remarks. Yes, there will be an opportunity for us to break down 27 borders with our EU neighbours with regard to trade, which is of course an opportunity...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on Devolution) (17 Nov 2022)

Neil Gray: I am happy to hear the proposal that Martin Whitfield would look to make on how that could be done. I would be happy to have a discussion with him offline about how he feels that such an arrangement could work. In another excellent speech, Katy Clark was absolutely right to challenge the UK Government and to say that there is a need for dialogue with the EU and with the rest of the UK. That...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on Devolution) (17 Nov 2022)

Neil Gray: It is an inconvenient truth for Oliver Mundell that, at the time, the Scottish Government suggested a compromise position to the UK Government. Notwithstanding the fact that we did not want Brexit to happen, we set out how there could be compromise that respected the fact that Scotland voted to remain in the EU. The UK Government chose to ignore that.

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on Devolution) (17 Nov 2022)

Neil Gray: No. I think that I have answered Mr Mundell’s point comprehensively. We put forward a compromise solution, which the UK Government chose to ignore, and we are now in a situation in which the UK Government continues to ignore the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government. That is why the committee has produced the report that it has produced. We also had excellent contributions from...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on Devolution) (17 Nov 2022)

Neil Gray: I think that I am pretty pushed for time. Is that right, Presiding Officer?

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on Devolution) (17 Nov 2022)

Neil Gray: I am happy to take the intervention.

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on Devolution) (17 Nov 2022)

Neil Gray: Given what Gillian Martin outlined, I imagine that the sentiments in farming communities across Scotland are similar with regard to the impact on our food producers that there has been since Brexit. In conclusion, the Scottish Government’s view is clear: only independence can guarantee Scotland’s democracy and our place as an equal member of the family of nations. Others have different...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on Devolution) (17 Nov 2022)

Neil Gray: Given what the deputy convener of the committee has said, does he share my concern that that constitutional change, which is impacting on the devolution settlement—on the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government—will be made even worse with the passage of the retained EU law bill?


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