iScotland’s parliament has formally voted to withhold its consent for Boris Johnson’s Brexit.
Some 92 to 29 MSPs voted against approving The Withdrawal Agreement Bill.
The Scottish Parliament and Scottish people have spoken clearly and consistently on this matter.
We voted against Brexit and continuously returned pro-Europe majorities in elections.
Anti-independence parties were crushed to near extinction in the latest election.
But the control the UK has over Scotland will once again mean we are held back.
The democratic wishes of our people and parliament remain completely restricted.
Despite these massive changes in our material circumstances we are denied our voice.
Scotland is entitled to decide over its future in this increasingly unrecognisable UK.
But a fearful Boris Johnson has again rejected our appeal for a simple independence referendum.
Evidently, he and his party fear Scotland will vote for its own liberation.
Losing control over our nation and its wealth would be an unmitigated disaster for the unionist powers.
This unwillingness to allow us to vote on these vastly changed circumstances is a sign of weakness.
Boris Johnson fears giving the people of Scotland a vote because he knows he would lose.
But he is only delaying the inevitable – that Scotland needs to be able to consider independence sooner rather than later.
Last week’s Scottish Parliament vote to withhold consent to withdrawing from the EU is emblematic of this struggle.
England and Wales are getting their wishes granted to leave the EU and Northern Ireland, a special deal.
Scotland, alone of the four nations, voted to remain but is being forced to leave with no special arrangements.
The Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament is right to withhold its consent on this basis alone.
However, there are more reasons, that the Scottish public rejected this Withdrawal Agreement Bill at the GE.
Additionally, this Bill firmly puts a no-deal Brexit back on the table – something disastrous for our economy.
To protect our economy, we argued the UK should remain in the single market and customs union.
Despite a positive case in our ‘Scotland’s Place in Europe’, it was contemptuously ignored by the UK Government.
A close variant of this was given to Northern Ireland.
The UK securing a free trade deal with the EU will be an extremely complex and unique activity.
Doing so in under a year is totally unrealistic and will drive the UK towards a hard Brexit when it fails to achieve it.
This is unless they give an extension to the one-year limit placed upon these negations.
While everyone’s views in Scotland matter, we have a duty to respect the clear and consistent majority.
No matter how you voted, Brexit will affect you, and you should have the right to consider a different path.
ENDS (459 words)
Nearly 100 per cent of homes and premises in the Clydebank and Milngavie constituency can connect to superfast broadband.
The information was revealed following a question by MSP Gil Paterson at General Questions at the Scottish Parliament on Thursday January 9.
Paul Wheelhouse MSP, the Secretary for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, told how 98 per cent of premises are hooked up.
He said: “Through a combination of commercial and DSSB investment, latest Ofcom figures show that 98 per cent of premises in Clydebank and Milngavie now have access to superfast broadband.
“Despite telecoms being reserved to Westminster, the Scottish government as committed to build on the success of the £400 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme by committing to our £600 million Reaching 100% programme.”
Mr Paterson, MSP for Clydebank and Milngavie, was delighted at the news and praised the Scottish Government’s efforts.
He said: “Given how much my constituents rely on internet now for accessing vital services, streaming multiple devices, entertainment, shopping, learning and more, it is essential all homes and business premises can access superfast broadband if they so wish.
“We have all experienced the frustration of a slow and unreliable internet connection – so I am very pleased we are moving towards 100 per cent superfast broadband coverage not just in Clydebank and Milngavie, but across the nation.
“Superfast internet is the bedrock of a modern economy and thanks to the Scottish Government’s efforts are well ahead of other countries in preparing for the future.
“I’m hoping these will allow some of the final gaps of connectivity to superfast broadband be filled in the not so distant future.”
Answer from the Scottish Government:
9 January 2020
Index Heading: Organisational Development and Operations
Gil Paterson (Clydebank and Milngavie) (Scottish National Party): To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the development of the broadband infrastructure in the Clydebank and Milngavie constituency.
Paul Wheelhouse: Through a combination of commercial and DSSB investment, latest Ofcom figures show that 98% of premises in Clydebank and Milngavie now have access to superfast broadband.
Despite telecoms being reserved to Westminster, the Scottish Government has committed to build on the success of the £400 million Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband programme by committing to our £600 million Reaching 100% programme. As the member may be aware, I will be making a statement later today on the R100 procurement and will be able to say more at that point.
MSP Gil Paterson's comments have appeared in the Clydebank Post following a press release breaking the below story:
MSP Gil Paterson has condemned plans to leave part of his constituency marooned from “lifeline” bus services for nearly two weeks.
Old Kilpatrick and Bowling will be cut off from all bus services for around 12 days in February for works at a rail bridge north of Roman Road.
Network Rail has refused to fund a replacement shuttle bus service following correspondence with Gil Paterson MSP, SPT and First Bus since October.
Services 1/A/B/E will be affected and will leave Old Kilpatrick and Bowling without any bus services for the duration of the works.
The works are scheduled for February, but an exact date has yet to be announced.
Mr Paterson, SNP MSP for Clydebank and Milngavie, said: “I condemn Network Rail’s refusal to fund a replacement bus service while it disrupts lifeline bus services in my constituency.
“Members of the public in Old Kilpatrick and Bowling are right to be angered as they will be marooned from services they rely on in their day to day lives.
“It is especially damaging in these cold and dark wintry days for elderly people, the disabled and other vulnerable members of the public.
“Local businesses will also be negatively affected from this withdrawal of customers traversing this busy bus route.
“I renew my call for Network Rail to fund the shuttle bus and show some accountability for the lengthy disruption it will cause.”