Frustrated by power grab

Tuesday July 21st 2020

Colin Beattie MSP

Colin Beattie MSP
Colin Beattie MSP, Midlothian North & Musselburgh, writes his monthly column for Midlothian View

I am frustrated that the Tory Government in Westminster are seeking to erode the powers of the Scottish Parliament in a serious power grab. The Tory Government are trying to put in place a UK internal market following Brexit, where the devolved UK nations would have to adhere to Westminster’s standards in future trade deals. The proposal would mean that Scotland would lose out on the power to agree to rules which would affect us, and decisions made in Westminster would be imposed on Scotland and the other devolved nations.

Given Boris Johnson’s track record, we know what this means for the UK and we should expect ridiculous trade deals with Trump which don’t meet basic standards. Though it seems currently that this is simply a constitutional argument, it is important that we realise the threat that this presents to our trade going forward. We do not want to see lowered food standards, or diminished safety standards on our goods. Clearly Westminster are trying to push through a policy that means the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Parliament’s do not get a say in these matters, and it is important that we make sure this doesn’t happen.

It is clear to me that this policy is being rushed through as a result of the limited amount of time that the Tory Government have to sort things out before we plunge out of the EU. Given that the Coronavirus pandemic is likely to be detrimental to our economy, we cannot afford to have poorly thought out policies on Brexit which risk putting our country in a worse off position. While it will be challenging supporting our economy through the Covid-19 crisis, it would be idiotic to leave the EU before we have recovered given the damage it is likely to cause.

The Prime Minister seems to be in a panic over polls which show an overwhelming majority for independence and is visiting to Scotland to repair broken relationships as a result, but the Scottish people have had their eyes opened and seen the dangers of trusting a Tory Government. The Coronavirus pandemic has proven their values, and we deserve a Government that prioritises its people and their safety, not a Tory Government which fails to take decisive action or listen to the expert advice given to them.

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