Published: Wed, June 13, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

SNP MPs stage mass walkout during PMQs over Brexit

SNP MPs stage mass walkout during PMQs over Brexit

The entire cohort of SNP MPs walked out of the Commons on Wednesday after their Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, was expelled for challenging speaker John Bercow during PMQs.

Mr Blackford asked for the House to sit in private but, after being rebuffed by Mr Bercow, he continued his protests.

"The Prime Minister silenced Scotland's voice, having broken constitutional convention, and plunged Scotland into a constitutional crisis, will the PM now commit to bringing forward emergency legislation so the will of Scottish Parliament can be heard and, more importantly, respected?"

The SNP claim the EU Withdrawal Bill opens the door for a Westminster power grab which takes away from the Scottish Parliament and undermines devolution.

May replied that the Bill ensured a "significant increase in decision-making powers" for Holyrood and that says 80 new powers will "flow direct to Holyrood".

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What had Ian Blackford said?

It is a power grab and the MPs from Scotland were not given even the courtesy of debating it last night.

He insisted what had happened in the Commons was a "democratic outrage", adding: "Without debate, without the voices of Scottish MPs being heard, the government pushed through these amendments to rip out the powers from the Scottish Parliament".

He was followed by some 30 of his SNP members.

"My job, my colleagues' job is to stand up for the powers of the Scottish Parliament". My mixed sequence of advice is that is better for the vote to be conducted at the conclusion of questions to the prime minister...

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The Scottish Parliament has already voted against giving its formal consent to the Withdrawal Bill, with SNP, Labour, Green and Lib Dem MSPs united in this stance.

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.

Opponents said the move was planned well in advance, taking place during prime minister's questions, the highlight of the parliamentary week. "Not one single Scottish MP was able to speak in that debate", he added.

Most Scottish lawmakers are unhappy at a clause in the European Union withdrawal bill that temporarily restricts the Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh assembly's powers, leaving them in the hands of the United Kingdom government while the rules governing Britain after Brexit are redrawn.

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