UK audit must not damage devolved interests

Responding to a statement by the Foreign Secretary on UK Government plans for an audit of EU legislation, SNP Westminster Deputy leader Stewart Hosie MP warned that the review must not damage devolved interests in Europe and demanded full engagement by the UK Government with stakeholders in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

In an exchange with the Foreign Secretary, Mr Hosie highlighted the Joint Ministerial Committee Memorandum of Understanding, covering co-ordination of EU policy, (page 28, para B4.3) states: “It is the Government's intention that Ministers and officials of the devolved administrations should be fully involved in discussions within the UK Government about the formulation of the UK's policy position on all issues which touch on matters which fall within the responsibility of the devolved administrations.”

Mr Hosie said:

“The UK Government must now engage with the devolved administrations on the implications that this audit could have on key Scottish industries, such as farming, fishing, and financial services – which are subject to qualified majority voting.

“It is absolutely essential that Scotland has a seat at the top table in Europe as an independent nation. The Prime Minister’s actions last autumn, when he walked out of key EU negotiations, leave Scotland and the rest of the UK with no voice at all.

“Only with independence will Scotland have the right to argue our own case in Europe, and protect our vital national interests – instead of these decisions being made by a Westminster Tory government that Scotland did not vote for.”