Results 1–20 of 872 for (in the 'Commons debates' OR in the 'Westminster Hall debates' OR in the 'Lords debates' OR in the 'Northern Ireland Assembly debates') speaker:Ian Blackford

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Engagements (20 Jun 2018)

Ian Blackford: May I associate myself with the remarks of the Prime Minister on the incident a year ago at the Finsbury Park mosque? Many of us in this House will be aware of the deeply distressing audio and images of children separated from their parents in US detention centres. Infants as young as 18 months are being caged like animals, babies of eight months are being left isolated in rooms, and last...

Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister: Engagements (20 Jun 2018)

Ian Blackford: I have to say that that is a disappointing answer from the Prime Minister. We should all be unreservedly condemning the actions of Donald Trump, and I ask the Prime Minister to do that. On the issue of immigration, while the US Administration call it a zero-tolerance policy, the Prime Minister calls it a hostile environment. We know that this Government detain children in detention centres...

NHS Long-Term Plan: Sewel Convention (18 Jun 2018)

Ian Blackford: On a point of order, Mr Speaker. Thank you for the debate we have had this evening. This is an important juncture in Scotland’s constitutional history. In the debate, I asked whether the Government would bring forward emergency legislation in order to respect the wishes of the Scottish Parliament. Moreover, we have now had a Division in the House in which a majority of Scottish MPs have...

NHS Long-Term Plan: Sewel Convention (18 Jun 2018)

Ian Blackford: I beg to move, That this House has considered the Sewel Convention. First, if I may, I want to commend all those involved in trying to save the iconic Mac building in the early hours of Saturday morning, and my hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow Central (Alison Thewliss) who attended to make sure that her constituents were safe. I also offer grateful thanks both to the fire service and for...

NHS Long-Term Plan: Sewel Convention (18 Jun 2018)

Ian Blackford: What the hon. Gentleman has identified is that there is no defence of the rights and powers of the Scottish Parliament. What has been proven by the events of the last week is that the Sewel convention is, sadly, unworkable. We have the ridiculous situation that the Conservative Government—in the teeth of opposition from the Scottish National party, the Labour party, the Liberal...

NHS Long-Term Plan: Sewel Convention (18 Jun 2018)

Ian Blackford: I thank the hon. Gentleman for that useful contribution. We have the Joint Ministerial Committee, but let us not forget that it did not meet for six months last year because the Westminster Government would not engage with it. He is quite correct to say that there must be respect for the Parliament, and I would argue that there has to be respect for all the political parties that represent...

NHS Long-Term Plan: Sewel Convention (18 Jun 2018)

Ian Blackford: I want to give credit to the other parties in the Scottish Parliament, where there has been a strong level of engagement. We need to improve on that and enhance it. In principle, I am very happy with what the right hon. Gentleman has just said.

NHS Long-Term Plan: Sewel Convention (18 Jun 2018)

Ian Blackford: I am grateful to be reminded of that quote. I would say to hon. Members on the Government Benches: be careful. This is not about the offence that has been taken by the Scottish National party. Conservative Members need to take on board the fact that they have offended the Scottish Parliament and all the parties in it that I have talked about. All of us on these Benches were back home in...

NHS Long-Term Plan: Sewel Convention (18 Jun 2018)

Ian Blackford: My hon. Friend is quite correct. They have form, and it goes back over a century.

NHS Long-Term Plan: Sewel Convention (18 Jun 2018)

Ian Blackford: If I may, I would like to make some progress. I will allow interventions again later. If the UK Government have a free hand to bend the rules, and to state when a situation is normal and when it is not, in order to undermine the Sewel convention, we can never, ever protect the powers of our Parliament. Westminster can do as it pleases, and we have to take it. Our Parliament in Scotland, which...

NHS Long-Term Plan: Sewel Convention (18 Jun 2018)

Ian Blackford: No answer? To use a football term, that was miles offside. If the hon. Gentleman looks on Google, he will be able to see what my party did in the 1997 devolution campaign, when we worked collectively with everyone else. I can tell him that I was tramping the streets of Scotland, together with all my colleagues, to ensure that Scotland could get its Parliament—[Interruption.]

NHS Long-Term Plan: Sewel Convention (18 Jun 2018)

Ian Blackford: The Scottish people voted overwhelmingly for that Parliament, and one of the reasons for that was that we had suffered so badly during the years of the Thatcher and Major Governments, who destroyed communities up and down the land. It is little wonder that the Tories then paid the price and were wiped off the political landscape in Scotland. Today, we see the Scottish Conservatives behaving...

NHS Long-Term Plan: Sewel Convention (18 Jun 2018)

Ian Blackford: Dear, oh dear, oh dear. The hon. Gentleman should listen to and watch the reaction in Scotland, because everybody knows that he and his colleagues last week went through the Lobby to vote to strip powers from the Scottish Parliament without a debate in this place. He really ought to be ashamed of himself. Since the Tories like to talk about referendums, let me remind the House that 74% of...

NHS Long-Term Plan: Sewel Convention (18 Jun 2018)

Ian Blackford: I think some of the hon. Gentlemen on the Government Benches should be auditioning for comedy hour. Let me remind the hon. Gentleman that the Conservatives have lost every single election in Scotland since 1955, but they want to put a veto on the Scottish Parliament and the people of our country. That is the reality. Powers must be in Scotland’s hands, and it is not just the SNP saying...

NHS Long-Term Plan: Sewel Convention (18 Jun 2018)

Ian Blackford: My hon. Friend is absolutely correct and makes a valuable point. We must be careful about the threats to Scotland from fracking. Scotland is an energy-rich country, with a wide range of energy sources, and we lead the world in renewables. However, we have a Government in London who want to bash ahead and risk ruining Scotland’s environment. We cannot stand aside and allow that to happen.

NHS Long-Term Plan: Sewel Convention (18 Jun 2018)

Ian Blackford: “You’re supposed to be good”? You have got to be kidding. May I respectfully suggest that the hon. Member for East Renfrewshire (Paul Masterton) reads the Scotland Act 1998 because—[Interruption.] I can see Conservative Members shaking their heads, but this is the nub of the problem. Devolution and the Scottish Parliament are defined by that legislation, and that...

NHS Long-Term Plan: Sewel Convention (18 Jun 2018)

Ian Blackford: Is that a fact? What happened on Tuesday night, and it is a matter of record—it can be looked up in Hansard—is that the hon. Gentleman went through the Lobby to strip the Scottish Parliament of powers, and not a single Scottish MP was allowed to debate the issue. That is the fundamental point. The behaviour of the UK Government is disgraceful. The Conservatives really think they...

NHS Long-Term Plan: Sewel Convention (18 Jun 2018)

Ian Blackford: I will tell the right hon. Gentleman what does not impress Scotland: a Secretary of State for Scotland who does not defend our Parliament. He should do the decent thing, the honourable thing, and resign, and he should do it now. SNP Minister Mike Russell said last week that it had been a “dark day for devolution.” Despite countless representations from the Scottish Government...

NHS Long-Term Plan: Sewel Convention (18 Jun 2018)

Ian Blackford: Absolutely, it is painful. It is painful that the people of Scotland are seeing their powers taken back from them. Rather than reassure the people of Scotland that the UK Government are committed to protecting our devolution settlement, the Scottish Secretary’s statement effectively turned Sewel on its head by saying that if there is disagreement, such as no consent on a legislative...

NHS Long-Term Plan: Sewel Convention (18 Jun 2018)

Ian Blackford: Yes. I thank the hon. Gentleman for his intervention. One of the things I would say to him, and to the Government, is that I do not believe it is in anybody’s interest not to have an agreement on this. We all have a responsibility to defend the powers and interests of the Scottish Parliament. I implore the Secretary of State to get back round the table. Let us resolve this issue. I do...


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