Ruth Maguire MSP has welcomed confirmation that the Scottish Government is weighing up its options to prevent the UK Internal Market Bill from passing into law.
This confirmation came today in the Scottish Parliament as the MSP for Cunninghame South asked about the latest engagement between the UK and Scottish Governments on the proposed bill.
The bill is expected to meet strong opposition in the House of Lords after being voted through by the Commons earlier this week despite rebellions from senior Conservative MPs.
Speaking at Portfolio Questions, Ruth Maguire said: “Widely and correctly this bill has been seen as incompatible with devolution, bad for business and consumers, dangerous for the environment and an impediment to necessary and effective devolved public health measures.
“What action will the Scottish Government take to stop the Conservative government in London unilaterally and arbitrarily imposing its will on Scotland against the wishes of the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish citizens who sent us here?”
Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, Europe and External Affairs, Michael Russell said: “The bill is being vigorously opposed in Westminster in the House of Commons. When it goes to the House of Lords, we expect that there will be vigorous opposition, not least because the bill also breaches international law, and that is admitted by the UK Government.
“We will not rule out other actions because this bill is wrong and should not pass, and we will do everything we can to make sure it does not pass.”
Providing further comment, Ruth Maguire said: “I’m glad that the Scottish Government has made its position clear in that it will fully and robustly challenge any effort to undermine the devolution settlement by this bill.
“The UK Internal Market bill is a blatant effort to snatch power back from the Scottish Parliament which will set back legislative progress and drive down standards in the aftermath of a catastrophic exit from the EU which we did not vote for. The bill cannot be allowed to pass.”
The exchange can be viewed in full below: