The debate should have been about how Scotland can best use the internal market to create jobs, boost business and help our economic recovery. The Scottish Parliament will soon gain dozens of new powers, and this should have been the perfect opportunity to have a positive, forward-looking debate. Unfortunately, the discussion has been dominated, as it so often is, by yet another of the SNP’s pointless, repetitive and self-serving constitutional arguments. This time, it is to oppose a “power grab”, but the SNP cannot name a single power that is being grabbed. That is for good reason: no power of the Parliament is being taken away. In fact, the opposite is true: more than 100 extra powers will come from the EU to the Scottish Parliament, and yet the SNP wants to take those new Scottish parliamentary powers and hand them straight back to Brussels.
As my colleague Dean Lockhart said, that would be the biggest power surrender that the Parliament has ever seen. Given the outrage that we have heard from the nationalist politicians today, we might think that they would be lining up to say that no power should ever be handed away from the Parliament, but of course that outrage is, as is usual with the SNP, fake and phoney grievance.