What the truth looks like

On the one hand, we have this from David Mundell,

“This is not a power grab, it is a power bonanza for the Scottish Parliament because after this Bill has been implemented the Scottish Parliament will have more powers and responsibilities than it has today and I’m happy to be held to account for that statement once the process has been delivered.”

But when Tommy Sheppard MP challenged the Scottish Secretary to name a single one of the powers included in this “bonanza”, all Mundell could say was,

“I will be judged by the Scotland Office’s record on devolution, and that means implementing the Calman commission in full, implementing the Scotland Act 2016 in full and taking forward the return of powers from Brussels, with a presumption of devolution. We will deliver, and the people of Scotland will see that we have.”

As Mr Sheppard remarked after receiving this unedifying response,

“On a full five occasions the Scottish secretary was asked to name one – just one power – that would be returned to Holyrood following his claims of a ‘powers bonanza‘ for the Scottish parliament. He utterly failed.

“Further to that – David Mundell could not even say when he thinks he will be able to answer that basic question and name one power. When challenged to publish a schedule setting out his plans – he refused. This will only add to the widespread fear that he has colleagues in the UK government who do not actually want to see any ‘powers bonanza’ whatsoever.

“Mr Mundell could not outline a single power – but he did confirm that immigration powers were not to be considered. This is despite his colleague in the Tory cabinet Michael Gove who promised that power would return to Scotland if the UK voted to leave the EU. That is yet another Tory broken promise.”

And now we have this, from Lord Hope of Craighead,

“Ministers may think that this is merely an enabling Bill, but it is not. It is about our constitution, too. The situation that it provides for as we leave the EU is entirely new. It is one that we have not had to face since the Scotland Act was enacted. The constitutional arrangements that were settled by the Scotland Act 1998 have to be changed but, as the Bill stands, they are being rewritten in a way that is naive and very damaging. Others will criticise some of the clauses containing regulation-making powers as amounting to Henry VIII clauses. As far as I know, Henry VIII never got to Scotland, but Oliver Cromwell did and he and the forces under his command did quite a lot of damage while he was there. I think that these clauses have a touch of Oliver Cromwell about them.

This issue goes far beyond the much-criticised Clause 11, which is about retaining EU restrictions in devolved legislation when we leave the EU. You can find these regulation-making powers in Clauses 7, 8 and 9 and throughout the entirety of Schedule 2. They are far-reaching and we must assume that they are there because it is intended that they should be used. As the wording stands, they could all be exercised to their fullest extent in all areas that are devolved to Scotland without any consultation whatsoever with the Scottish Ministers.”

Has David Mundell ‘grossly misled’ the Scottish public?

No! He has wilfully, shamelessly, brazenly lied to us!

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About Peter A Bell

Thinker. Listener. Talker. Reader. Writer. No attitude immutable. No conclusion final. No opinion humble. Lifelong campaigner for the restoration of Scotland's independence.
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3 Responses to What the truth looks like

  1. Dave Albiston says:

    I understand that Mr Mundell has increased the staff of the Scottish Office from 5 to 71, and taken over premises in Leith to house them. Has anybody asked him what these people will be doing?

    Liked by 1 person

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