Tory MP Fails 5 Times to Name Any New Powers for Scotland

By Reporter, The HighLand Times, Tuesday September 12 2017

Another week another Tory dodges power grab questions.

Despite David Mundell’s promises of a “powers bonanza” for the Scottish Parliament in the event of Brexit, yet another Tory MP embarrassed himself on the airwaves this morning by failing to name a single new power that will come to Holyrood under the UK government’s plans.

Speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme, Colin Clark was asked five times to name a single new power which will be transferred to the Scottish Parliament but could not provide a straight answer.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been unequivocal that the EU Withdrawal Bill which passed its first parliamentary hurdle in the Commons last night “threatens the very principle on which our parliament is founded”.

The SNP has described Tory plans to re-reserve powers coming from Brussels is a “blatant power grab”, calling on other parties to unite in defence of the Scottish Parliament.

Commenting, the SNP’s Joan McAlpine MSP said:

“Last night’s vote in the Commons showed us two things.

“Firstly, that there is movement from the Labour party towards the SNP’s position of securing a deal which keeps Scotland and the UK in the Single Market.

“That is vitally important in terms of protecting jobs, wages and living standards and this moderated position is to be warmly welcomed.

“Secondly, it shamed Scottish Tory MPs who voted wholeheartedly in favour of ripping powers away from the Scottish Parliament and back to Westminster.

“This Tory power grab puts at risk the very foundations of devolution – the principle that everything is automatically devolved unless it is expressly reserved.

“And the silence from the Tories speaks volumes. Time after time, interview after interview they are asked to confirm what new powers – if any – Holyrood will get in the event of Brexit.

“But still they don’t have an answer to this most basic of questions.

“That’s because the Tories are utterly disingenuous – there’s no ‘powers bonanza’ up their sleeve.

“They stand ideologically against more powers coming to Scotland and will do all they can to undermine that.

“Now more than ever all other parties across Scottish politics must work together to stop this Tory power grab in its tracks.” 

 

 

BBC GMS Interview (12/09/17):

 

Presenter:

But for those who believe that it does undermine devolution, and the Scottish Government certainly are within that camp, would it not be more reassuring if you or your colleagues were able to tell them which powers they might actually gain as a result of this exercise?

Colin Clark:

But look, let’s come down to the basics of this, what were the SNP actually trying to do? They were trying to undermine the Union. They will take any opportunity. They were happy to accept EU directives but there was howls of horror when we said we would move it back to the UK who will be able to scrutinise it in the future. My colleague, Paul Masterton, said yesterday the SNP… to collude and to wreck it, that’s what they were trying to do to the European Withdrawal Bill. The European Withdrawal is the right way forward in transferring the legislation.

 

Presenter:

But you could ultimately put their gas at a peep, couldn’t you? Just by giving us a listing now of this powers bonanza that the Scottish Parliament’s likely to have, that David Mundell has promised.

Colin Clark:

I’ve already said, you know, it’s 40 years of regulation, 40 years of legislation that have…

 

Presenter:

… but you must have an idea of the powers that will be part of this powers bonanza?

Colin Clark:

… that have to be transferred over in a clean and effective way and as I said earlier, this is actually good for our relationship going forward with Europe. The SNP Government in Holyrood should embrace this and get on board with this rather than trying to do everything it can to wreck it because it’s a busted flush that it’s actually about the European Withdrawal Bill. What they are trying to do, as they are always trying to do, is to undermine the Union.

 

Presenter:

You can’t give us any powers that will be come back to Holyrood?

Colin Clark:

Look nothing that is already in the remit of Holyrood will be undermined…

 

Presenter:

… Sure, but with respect, that’s not what I asked. David Mundell…

[crosstalk]

Colin Clark:

… will be undermined by the transference of powers.

 

Presenter:

David Mundell said there would be a powers bonanza. New powers, in essence. I’ve just asking you to at least name one of them.

Colin Clark:

When we return the legislation to the UK, you know as well as I do what the next step will is that Westminster and the devolved Governments will be able to scrutinise and act on that legislation. What we are talking about in the EU withdrawal bill was transferring the powers. Now already, the debate is moving on and I heard earlier on your piece Holyrood will be discussing this. What we were discussing last night and what we managed to achieve with the majority in the parliament was to transfer from… agree to transfer from EU law to UK law. This is a step forward, this is constructive, and I’m glad that we got a majority.

 

 

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