Here’s how the Tories are attacking devolution — Scottish National Party

After dragging Scotland out of the EU against our will, Boris Johnson, enthusiastically aided by Scottish Tories, is now imposing a creeping Westminster takeover.

A new Scottish government document reveals the “regular and systematic undermining of decentralization” by the conservatives, through the law on the internal market – adopted by Westminster against the wishes of Scotland.

It affects all areas of our daily lives:

  • threatening our NHS
  • risk food standards
  • damage to the protection of the environment
  • ignoring our democratically elected Scottish Parliament, and much more.

Here’s what it all means.

Westminster now has the power to override devolved politics

Parliament in Westminster has now passed the Internal Market Act, which uses Brexit as an excuse to drastically weaken the powers of the Scottish Parliament.

By law, UK ministers have the power to undermine and override these powers – unilaterally and without consent.

In other words, in key devolved policy areas, the UK government can effectively intervene, whenever it wishes, regardless of the democratic votes of the Scottish Parliament or the views of the Scottish people.

Scottish Parliament votes repeatedly ignored

One of the fundamental principles of devolution is that the powers of the Scottish Parliament cannot be changed without its express consent.

Scotland‘s voice was completely ignored. The Scottish Parliament voted against the power grab by an overwhelming majority – but Westminster went ahead regardless.

The Scottish NHS is under increased threat from Westminster

Under the Internal Market Act, UK ministers can unilaterally subject the Scottish NHS to so-called ‘market access’ principles.

As the SNP pushed for an NHS Protection Bill, the UK government repeatedly refused to include legally binding safeguards to protect the NHS from the impact of future trade deals.

It’s also a violation of our food and environmental standards.

The Home Market Act means that if chlorinated chicken and hormone-injected beef are accepted for sale in England under a post-Brexit UK-US trade deal, they will have to also be accepted in Scotland – no matter how the Scottish Parliament votes or what the Scottish people think.

Similarly, any future legislation in Scotland to ban single-use plastics, adopt a more ambitious environmental policy or put in place measures to tackle health issues such as obesity, could be rendered ineffective by the law.

It imposes a new unelected UK body to pass judgment on decisions of the Scottish Parliament

While Brexiteers have often talked about “getting rid of unelected bureaucrats”, the Vote Leave clique at the heart of the UK government has now set up a new unelected and unaccountable body.

The new Internal Market Office will have the power to pass judgment on devolved laws. It could mean companies with deep pockets challenging the democratic decisions of the Scottish Parliament.

Organizations across Scotland are strongly opposed to this power grab

Organizations across Scotland – in business, industry, agriculture, education and the environment – have made it clear that the Internal Market Bill is unacceptable.

NFU Scotland said the proposals “pose a significant threat to decentralization”, and Scottish Environment Link said that the plans “force Scotland to follow the lowest common denominator”.

Even the UK government’s top legal officer for Scotland has resigned in protest.

“Taking back control” also meant taking back control of Scotland

As Brexiteers parroted the line to ‘take back control’ it is now clear that they also meant Westminster taking control back from Scotland.

Instead of a ‘big bang’ moment like an outright abolition of the Scottish Parliament, Westminster has instead built a mechanism that systematically – but quietly – undermines devolution, hoping no one will notice.

But the threat is very real. In this election, the choice is between saving the Scottish Parliament the people voted for in 1997, or allowing Westminster to continue to strip it of its powers.

The only way to protect our Scottish Parliament is with independence

The Tories and Boris Johnson, who himself has called devolution a “disaster”, simply cannot be trusted with devolution.

That is why it is so important to put Scotland’s future firmly in their hands.

Only with independence can we properly protect our Scottish Parliament, have the full range of economic powers to shape the country we want and still get the governments we vote for.

Make it #BothVotesSNP for #indyref2

This election is our chance to prevent Boris Johnson from deciding the future of Scotland.

To secure a post-pandemic independence referendum and put Scotland’s future in its own hands, let’s make it the two SNP votes on May 6.

The smaller the gap between the SNP’s constituency vote and the list vote, the more likely we are to win a decisive majority in favor of independence and securing Scotland’s right to choose.

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