The SNP has today called on the Prime Minister to sack Alister Jack, after the Scottish Secretary “blatantly misled” the Westminster Parliament about efforts from the Scottish Government to implement the Deposit Return Scheme.
On 22nd February, Mr Jack told the House of Commons that “we have not been asked for an exemption for this under the rules of the UK Internal Market Act 2020 by the Scottish Government—no request for an exemption has come.
The exemption bar is very high indeed, otherwise what is the point of the UKIM?”
However, documents released by the Scottish Government clearly disprove that claim and demonstrate that initial discussions about the need for an exclusion go as far back as 2021 – and in January, the Deputy First Minister wrote to the UK Government to signal his alarm at the lack of progress on this issue.
Commenting, SNP MSP Fiona Hyslop said:
“Alister Jack has deliberately misled the Westminster parliament and as such the Prime Minister has no option but to sack him.
“Contrary to his claim in the House of Commons that no exemption has been sought for the DRS, documents released by the Scottish Government yesterday show that initial discussions began in 2021, were stepped up in 2022 – and in January the Deputy First Minister was forced to write to the UK Government expressing his alarm at the lack of progress.
“The Deposit Return Scheme is a key environmental measure that will make a step change in helping to keep Scotland beautiful and meet our climate change targets.
“It is a policy that clearly falls within devolved competence and has been backed overwhelmingly by MSPs.
“As the supposed representative of Scotland in the UK Government, Alister Jack should be going out of his way to enable the smooth running of devolution, but instead he seems to be doing everything he can to sabotage it – and is now telling blatant untruths to cover his lack of action.
“There is no justification for the UK Government blocking this policy, which is why Alister Jack has had to resort to making things up.”
“When he took office, the Prime Minister pledged that he would lead a government with “integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level” – if he does not sack Alister Jack, he will be failing on all three counts.”