Speaking in the House of Commons today, Tommy Sheppard asked the minister to give more detail on the so-called “powers bonazna” that the Scottish Parliament would enjoy when the UK leaves the European Union.
Earlier this month the Scottish Secretary expressed his belief the two administrations would produce an agreement that ensured vital legislation to enact Brexit gets the support of MSPs at Holyrood.
The SNP has accused UK ministers of a “power grab” on parts of the devolved settlement including agriculture and the environment, and threatened to withhold legislative consent from the government’s Repeal Bill.
Mr Mundell had said he has always “been confident we could reach a resolution because ultimately the Scottish Government and even the SNP realise it is to the benefit of Scotland to have a good settlement of these issues.”
Following Scottish Questions, Mr Sheppard said: “On a full five occasions the Scottish secretary was asked to name one – just one power – that would be returned to Holyrood following his claims of a ‘powers bonanza ‘ for the Scottish parliament. He utterly failed.
“Further to that – David Mundell could not even say when he thinks he will be able to answer that basic question and name one power. When challenged to publish a schedule setting out his plans – he refused. This will only add to the widespread fear that he has colleagues in the UK government who do not actually want to see any ‘powers bonanza’ whatsoever.
“Mr Mundell could not outline a single power – but he did confirm that immigration powers were not to be considered. This is despite his colleague in the Tory cabinet Michael Gove who promised that power would return to Scotland if the UK voted to leave the EU. That is yet another Tory broken promise.
“The people of Scotland did not vote for Brexit. We have now confirmed the existence of Whitehall documents which show that Brexit will hit Scotland hardest of any part of the UK. Any Tory power grab – in addition to the terrible damage of Brexit – would be a complete violation of the devolution settlement and would be unacceptable and totally indefensible.”
Speaking in the House, Mr Mundell said: “I have rarely heard such complete and utter nonsense.
“I will be judged by the Scotland Office’s record on devolution, and that means implementing the Calman commission in full, implementing the Scotland Act 2016 in full and taking forward the return of powers from Brussels, with a presumption of devolution. We will deliver, and the people of Scotland will see that we have.”