Why me and my SNP MPs walked out of parliament today

Clay Curtis
June 13, 2018

"I have a duty on behalf of my colleagues, on behalf of the First Minister and the government of Scotland and of the Parliament of Scotland, to stand up against the betrayal that has taken place of the Scottish people with the unprecedented power grab which is taking place".

"Yet last night she pressed ahead with a power-grab in direct opposition to Scotland's elected Parliament".

Earlier, in Commons exchanges, the SNP leader had pointed out that despite the declaration that Scotland would be a partner of equals in the United Kingdom, the Tory Government had pressed ahead with a "power-grab" in direct opposition to Scotland's Parliament and had "silenced Scotland's voice".

However, May responded: "We do expect that the outcome of the whole Brexit is a significant increase in the decision making power of Holyrood".

But MSPs at the Scottish Parliament refused to give their blessing for May's Bill - something Blackford says has been ignored.

"The real impact of what we have seen is that people across Scotland are under no illusion that the Westminster system, in which we were told Scotland was an equal and respected partner, simply doesn't work for Scotland".

Blackford replied: "The reality of the situation is that powers enshrined under the Scotland Act in 1998 are being grabbed back by this Parliament".

"It is a democratic outrage".

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"I'm not hearing that at this time and it is my clear understanding that I'm not obliged to do so", said the speaker.

Mr Bercow said he would be happy to take a vote on the issue after PMQs, but after Mr Blackford repeatedly refused to sit down, he ordered him to leave.

The first minister and SNP leader Ms Sturgeon praised the MPs' actions, telling BBC Scotland: "The events in the Commons yesterday were a travesty of democracy".

Blackford had sought an immediate vote to have the Commons heard in private, complaining that little more than half an hour had been given over to debating the devolution amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill last night.

While Conservatives at Westminster say some of these must come to Parliament to allow for common frameworks to be established in areas such as agriculture and environmental regulations, ministers at Holyrood fear the powers of the Scottish Parliament could be restrained for up to seven years. "But the Prime Minister has ignored Scotland". Scottish Tories told me to sit down. "It is not acceptable".

The EU Withdrawal Bill - which is at the centre of the Conservative-led government's Brexit strategy - is one cause for concern.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford said: "I'm afraid the normal relationships between the Scottish and Westminster governments have to be impacted by this".

"We will use parliamentary devices to hold this government to account".

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