United Kingdom Internal Market

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 18th August 2020.

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Photo of Dean Lockhart Dean Lockhart Conservative

I will in a second—the minister should listen to this. The continuity bill would effectively take a wrecking ball to the UK internal market.

The minister also claimed that the UK Government is determined to undermine devolution and the powers of the Parliament. The reality of the past decade shows us precisely the opposite. Over the past decade, the UK Conservative Government has transferred unprecedented powers to this Parliament, including powers in the area of taxation, 11 different welfare powers—although they are not used by the SNP—and powers in areas of consumer protection. That is what real devolution looks like.

I turn to the constitutional questions that were raised in the minister’s opening remarks. The internal market proposals cannot be viewed in isolation—they have to be seen in the context of the significant new powers that are coming to this Parliament. At the end of the transition period, the Scottish Parliament will enjoy a power surge, making it more powerful than ever. That power surge will be delivered by the transfer of powers through three avenues. The first is the direct transfer of more than 100 additional powers from the EU, which are coming straight to this Parliament for the first time. Those powers are in a number of different areas, including air quality, animal welfare, land use and energy efficiency. They currently sit with the EU, and the SNP wants to surrender them straight back to the EU.