WHITE PAPER “UNDERLINES BREXIT MESS AT HEART OF GOVERNMENT”

SNP CRITICISE WHITE PAPER THAT IS “SHAMEFULLY OVERDUE AND UTTERLY UNDERWHELMING” 

Scottish National Party MP, Martin Docherty-Hughes, has said the UK Government’s White Paper underlines the ‘Brexit mess’ at the heart of the UK government.

The SNP have criticised the “shamefully overdue and utterly underwhelming” White Paper which was delivered by the UK Government’s Brexit Secretary David Davis in the House of Commons – without offering any advance sight to opposition parties; the normal process to ensure proper parliamentary scrutiny.  

Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:

“The White Paper underlines the mess at the heart of Government – it is nothing more than a laminated copy of the Prime Minister’s Lancaster House speech that offers no detail on the key issues; seven months on from the EU referendum and having agreed to trigger Article 50, it is inexcusable that the UK Government still doesn’t have detailed proposals to show Parliament and the public. 

“By comparison, the SNP Scottish Government published their paper on Brexit, outlining how Scotland can protect its economy and retain its place in Europe, before Christmas.

“The UK Government’s White Paper does not even guarantee devolved powers coming back to the Scottish Parliament, it offers no clarity on the status of EU nationals, no clarity on seeking agreement with the Joint Ministerial Committee and nothing on the ‘bad deal or no deal’ reset clause.

“The SNP consistently pressured the Government to publish its policy position in a White Paper before the legislation reaches Committee Stage, so whilst today’s publication is welcome, to have it after the Brexit Bill has been voted on in the Commons and not in advance of the Brexit Minister addressing the chamber, shows this Tory Government simply does not have the courage of its convictions. If it was confident in its plans it would not be avoiding the normal Parliamentary scrutiny that we expect with even the most minor pieces of legislation.

“The UK Government has attempted to avoid scrutiny in Parliament at every turn while we are facing catastrophic consequences for Scotland’s economy. This is unacceptable and I will continue to be a strong voice for my constituents, fighting for the rights and future of my community.”