MSP Gil Paterson has backed calls for the Scottish Secretary to either deliver on his pledge to fully protect the powers of the Scottish Parliament or consider his position.
David Mundell has been accused of making promises he can’t keep over the powers which would return to Holyrood when the UK leaves the EU.
Mr Mundell told the House of Commons he wants to ensure the Scottish Parliament has more powers and responsibilities than it does today, and that “any frameworks should not be imposed.”
However the current proposals in the Brexit Bill would see all powers from Brussels initially return to Westminster, before some are passed on to the devolved legislatures in full and others are incorporated into UK-wide frameworks.
The SNP has said that if the UK government’s amendment does not give the Scottish Parliament the right to consent to any changes to its powers - and would see frameworks imposed - then the Scottish Secretary must stick to his position, or step down.
According to reports in the Herald, Whitehall sources say the UK Government will go “no further” in the power grab negotiations. The source said: “I don’t sense us moving from our position. We have already moved a hell of a long way and we can’t move any further in the way the Scottish Government want us to” and “We’re still talking and officials are working hard to find a way through, but I don’t know whether we can now bridge that gap.”
The Scottish Secretary has faced ongoing criticism for failing to stand up for Scotland in Westminster. The Scottish Tories failed to bring forward amendments to the Brexit Bill to protect Scottish devolution, despite all their promises, and the Scottish Secretary was missing from Chequers last week when Theresa May gathered her Cabinet for crucial Brexit talks.
Mr Paterson joined SNP Westminster leader, Ian Blackford MP, in criticising David Mundell’s “deafening silence” over the UK government’s leaked Brexit papers saying “the Scottish Secretary must come clean about what he knew about the analysis which shows that a no-deal scenario could hit Scotland’s GDP by around 9%.
“David Mundell made a pledge to fully protect the powers of the Scottish Parliament. He is meant to be Scotland’s man in Westminster but when there are major decisions to be made he is not even invited to the table leaving Scotland without a voice. Whenever decisions go against the interests of the people of Scotland he’s no-where to be seen.
“Mr Mundell simply cannot be trusted to when it comes to fight for the best deal for Scotland and the Scottish Tory MPs are increasingly side-lined.
“Once again it falls to the SNP to stand up for Scotland.”
Press releases prepared by Alan Ferguson, Gil Paterson MSP's communications manager, who can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 07342 061722..