Ian Blackford to call for emergency laws to end Brexit ‘power grab’

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SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford is to make the case for emergency legislation to end the “power-grab” on Scottish devolution.

He is due to use a debate in the Commons on Monday to reiterate calls for the Prime Minister to halt the EU Withdrawal Bill to ensure it does not reduce the remit of the Scottish Parliament.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Speaker John Bercow has accepted a request by the SNP for an emergency debate on devolution.

READ MORE: Watch SNP MPs walk out of PMQs after Ian Blackford ordered to leave

Mr Blackford said: “The Prime Minister gave a commitment that she would treat Scotland as part of a ‘union of equals’.

“Yet she pressed ahead with a power-grab in direct opposition to Scotland’s elected Parliament.

“We hear from the Prime Minister about respecting devolution - but the Prime Minister has ignored Scotland.

“The Tories haven’t won a democratic mandate from the people of Scotland for over 60 years, yet they press on to claw back powers from Holyrood without consent. Their respect for Scotland is skin-deep at best.

“History will remember this defining moment when the UK Parliament chose to reject devolution. This will haunt the Scottish Tories for a generation.”

Mr Blackford was kicked out of the chamber on Tuesday for repeatedly challenging the Speaker after claiming Scotland was being sidelined in Brexit debates.

The EU Withdrawal Bill related to devolution was passed by the House of Commons after just 15 minutes of debate - with Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington the only member who made a speech.

MPs from the party walked out of the question session in protest to Mr Blackford’s removal, with many shouting as they left.

Mr Bercow said he was suspending the party leader for the rest of the day following his “repeated refusal” to take his seat when told to do so.

Conservatives accused Mr Blackford of orchestrating a publicity stunt because Mr Bercow had agreed to hear his motion for the House to sit in private - which would have required a vote and disrupted PMQs - at the end of the session instead.

This suggestion was denied by the party leader.

A UK Government spokesman said: “The EU Withdrawal Bill is about ensuring that the whole of the United Kingdom has a functioning statute book on Exit Day.

“It is about providing legal certainty to businesses and individuals up and down the country.

“The UK Government is proceeding entirely in line with devolution.

“Rather than dealing with manufactured grievance we should be working together to get best deal for people in Scotland as we leave the EU.”