The SNP has said Boris Johnson and Westminster are “the real disaster” threatening Scotland – as the Prime Minister was panned by MPs over his attacks on devolution.
Speaking at Prime Ministers Questions, Ian Blackford MP said Scotland had been completely ignored by Westminster – and faced a growing threat from an extreme Brexit and the Tory power grab Internal Market bill, which would give Westminster the power to overrule the Scottish Parliament in key devolved areas including the NHS, education, transport, infrastructure, food and environmental standards.
The SNP Westminster Leader compared the damaging record of Tory and Labour Westminster governments, with the progressive measures introduced by the SNP government at Holyrood – and said the only way to protect Scotland’s interests is to become an independent country.
The exchange follows widespread criticism of the Prime Minister, who was caught telling Tory MPs that devolution was a ‘disaster’ and a ‘mistake’.
Boris Johnson has previously claimed “a pound spent in Croydon is of far more value to the country than a pound spent in Strathclyde”, that “devolution is causing all the strains that its opponents predicted, and in allowing the Scots to make their own laws, while free-riding on English taxpayers, it is simply unjust”, and that Scottish people are “grossly over-represented at Westminster”.
Commenting, SNP Westminster Leader Ian Blackford MP said:
“Over the past twenty years, Westminster has imposed an extreme Brexit, an illegal war in Iraq, £9,000 Tuition Fees, the Windrush scandal, the rape clause, the bedroom tax, and a decade of Tory austerity cuts, which have pushed millions of people into poverty.
“At the same time, the Scottish Parliament has delivered free prescriptions, free tuition fees, free personal care, free bus travel, the Baby Box, the Scottish Child Payment, and world-leading climate action, all of which have made Scotland a fairer and more equal place to live.
“It’s no wonder that the overwhelming majority of people in Scotland think Boris Johnson and Westminster are the real disaster.
“The Prime Minister’s attack on devolution wasn’t just a slip of tongue – it was a slip of the Tory mask.
“We know these aren’t just flippant remarks, when Scotland faces the biggest threat to devolution with the Tory Power Grab Bill.
“The chasm between Westminster and the Scottish people has never been bigger.
“The fact is Scotland has been completely ignored by Westminster – we now face an extreme Brexit, a power grab, and another round of Tory cuts all being imposed, against our will, by a Tory government we didn’t vote for.
“Scotland cannot afford another twenty years of Westminster damage.
“It is clearer than ever, that the only way to protect Scotland’s interests, our Parliament and our place in Europe, is to become an independent country.”