Internal Market

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 30th July 2020.

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Photo of Michael Russell Michael Russell Scottish National Party

I entirely support that proposal. I can tell the Parliament that it was meant to be at the heart of the new proposals on intergovernmental relations arising from the intergovernmental review.

There are two problems with that. One is that nothing has come from the UK Government. We have been waiting to see that document for months; it has had a gestation period much longer than an elephant’s. We have had nothing at all from the UK Government on those matters.

The second problem is what Martin Callanan said yesterday in the House of Lords. If there is going to be an entire reliance on the courts for those matters, there can be no effective dispute resolution procedure, because it would be overruled by the courts.

In those circumstances, I am happy to make common cause with Willie Rennie on the issue. If the UK Government were to bring a dispute resolution procedure—a set of arrangements that treated the four nations of these islands as equals—we would be there to agree it. We have other ambitions, but of course we would agree it; the Welsh would, too.

However, the UK Government is not bringing that forward. What it wants is simply to intervene legally to stop us doing things. I hope that we will have the support of Willie Rennie and his party in resisting that.