Tory EU power grab is contempt for democracy

Stephen Smellie
Stephen Smellie

Recognising the importance of addressing all devolved issues in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Conference called on the National Executive to work closely with UNISON regions in the devolved administrations as the EU exit negotiations and related legislation develops.

Scotland NEC member Stephen Smellie told delegates: “Theresa May’s government are making a pig’s ear out of the Brexit negotiations. She tries to balance one faction of her government against another. The plan for Brexit that Gove and Johnson had, pushed on by Farage, turned out not to be a plan at all.

“They gave no regard to the Northern Ireland Good Friday agreement and May struggles to work out what to do.

“And they gave no regard to how the powers that they wanted to take back from Europe would fit into the devolved landscape of the UK.”

Stephen warned that powers coming from Europe that are already devolved will not go to Edinburgh, Cardiff or Belfast.

“They will go to the Government Ministers and they will keep them for 7 years. 7 years! Longer than the length of the term of office of any government in Westminster or in the devolved parliaments”, he said.

That makes a mockery of UK parliamentary democracy and also means that the devolved powers of the national parliaments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, despite intentions and assurances, are indeed very much reversible.

Stephen said: “The Tories have demonstrated contempt for the settled will of the Scottish people, contempt for the Scottish Parliament and contempt for democracy. And if their actions lead to greater calls for another Independence referendum, well hell mend them.

“This union will continue to argue for respect for the devolution settlements, for strong Scottish Welsh and Northern Irish parliaments and for strengthening democracy.

“Theresa May’s government are a threat to all of these and so the sooner we are rid of her dishonest, corrupt and disastrous government the better.”

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