Scottish Parliament opposes beginning of process to withdraw from EU. (07/02/17)
The Scottish Parliament has today agreed that the UK Government’s European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill should not proceed.
Welcoming the vote, Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe Michael Russell said the Parliament’s view should now be listened to.
Speaking following the debate, Mr Russell said:
“Scotland’s national Parliament has today sent a clear message to the rest of the UK and Europe – we oppose a catastrophic hard Brexit that dumps Scotland outside of the single market against its wishes.
“The Prime Minister promised Scotland would be ‘fully engaged’ in agreeing a common UK approach to triggering Article 50. We have taken those promises at face value and developed constructive, detailed compromise proposals showing how we can keep our place in the single market, which is around eight times bigger than the UK’s alone,
“Yet so far the UK Government has offered nothing – not a single compromise in return, or even a view on our proposals.
“We do not yet know when Article 50 will be triggered, and have not been given any information about how the UK Government will seek our involvement. The promise of a ‘UK Agreement’ on its content looks to be an empty one.
“Today’s vote is therefore a key test of whether Scotland’s voice is being listened to and whether our wishes can be accommodated within the UK process.
“There is still time for the UK Government to recognise the existence and importance of devolution, the views of this Parliament and the clear, democratically expressed voice of the people of this country – but that time is running out.”