In 2015 we pledged that our MPs would make Scotland’s voice stronger at Westminster and to use our influence to help deliver positive change.
Working with campaigners and other parties from across the UK, that is exactly what SNP MPs have been doing. Here’s how.
1. Opposing the Tories’ Hard Brexit plans.
SNP MPs, led by the party’s Europe spokesperson Stephen Gethins MP, put forward a series of amendments to the Article 50 Bill, including requiring the UK government to consider the interests of devolved administrations and protect the rights of EU citizens in the UK. However, the unamended Bill was passed with Labour’s support, giving the Tories a blank cheque for their Hard Brexit plan.
2. Fighting for a fairer immigration policy. SNP MPs Ian Blackford MP and Alex Salmond MP, working alongside Kate Forbes MSP, have successfully lobbied on behalf of the Brain family for their right to live in Scotland.
— The SNP (@theSNP) October 14, 2016
And we continue to argue for the reintroduction of the post-study work visa, to ensure we can attract and retain the skills and talent Scotland needs.
3. Passing landmark legislation on ending violence against women.
Eilidh Whiteford MP has become the first SNP MP to have a Private Member’s Bill pass at Westminster. The Bill requires the UK government to ratify the Istanbul Convention and take further action to finally eradicate domestic violence.
4. Fighting to end the Tories’ draconian Rape Clause.
Alison Thewliss MP has campaigned against Tory plans to make some women prove they have been raped in order to claim Child Tax Credits, forcing the UK government to back down and hold a public consultation on the issue.
5. Fighting for pension justice for women born in the 1950s.
Mhairi Black MP has worked with the women of the WASPI campaign and led calls at Westminster for women born in the 1950s to receive the pensions they are rightfully due.
The SNP commissioned research showing that it would cost £8 billion to reverse the 2011 changes and give WASPI women more time to prepare – significantly less than the £30 billion suggested by the UK Government.
6. Fighting against the Tory tax on child support.
The UK government charges victims of domestic violence for using the ‘Collect and Pay’ scheme in order to avoid having to face their abuser, with support collected instead by the government from former partners. Angela Crawley MP is campaigning to end this cruel and callous tax on child support.
7. Campaigning for action on nuisance calls.
Patricia Gibson MP proposed a new law at Westminster to ensure company bosses are held to account if they breach nuisance call regulations. The measures proposed have now been adopted by the UK government and company directors now face fines of up to £500,000 if found to be in breach of the law on nuisance calls.
8. Pressing the Tory government to accept more unaccompanied child refugees.
SNP Westminster Leader Angus Robertson MP and Joanna Cherry QC MP continue to press the UK government to accept a greater share of unaccompanied child refugees, and to reverse their disgrace dereliction of duty by ending the Dubs amendment scheme which allows unaccompanied child refugees into the UK.
9. Securing fair compensation for veterans affected by asbestos-related mesothelioma.
Kirsten Oswald MP, working with the Royal British Legion, successfully campaigned to force the UK government to ensure that veterans are entitled to the same compensation for asbestos-related mesothelioma as civilians who contracted the illness.
10. Securing the best deal for Scotland on Heathrow expansion.
Drew Hendry MP, working with the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, Keith Brown, has successfully campaigned to secure a deal on airport expansion that will create up to 16,000 jobs and over £200 million in construction-related spend here in Scotland.
11. Calling for action on the use of Scottish Limited Partnerships for tax evasion.
Roger Mullin MP has led calls for the UK government to take action on the use of the Scottish Limited Partnership business model to undertake illegal activities and evade tax. The UK Government has now committed to a review and consultation of such practices.
12. Fighting against the UK government cruel and punitive sanctions regime.
Mhairi Black MP has led the campaign in opposing the punitive and cruel benefit sanctions regime, and proposed a Private Member’s Bill to remove some unfairness from the system. Yet despite only seeking modest reform, the Tories used parliamentary tactics to talk out the Bill.
13. Fighting for better protection for consumers through more effective ombudsmen.
Richard Arkless MP, as Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Consumer Protection, will lead a new inquiry into the effectiveness of ombudsmen in the UK. As part of their inquiry, the APPG has commissioned a report on ombudsmen from Martin Lewis and MoneySavingExpert.
14. Tightening up regulations around the marketing of baby formula milk.
Alison Thewliss MP won unanimous backing from MPs for her Bill to prevent baby formula milk manufacturers making potentially misleading claims by ensuring all health claims are independently researched.
15. Improving the oversight of aviation noise.
Hannah Bardell MP has called for a new Independent Aviation Noise Authority to ensure that communities are fully engaged in decisions by airports to alter flight paths. The UK government has now announced a consultation on the creation of such a body.
16. Campaigning against the overuse of controversial medicines
Douglas Chapman MP led the campaign against the MoD’s continued use of the anti-malaria Lariam drug, which a House of Cmmons Committee found presents unacceptable risks and has widespread side effects. SNP MPs have argued that the MoD must heed those concerns and respect the duty of care they have to all personnel.
17. Fighting to protect the benefits of the poorest in society.
Following the disastrous actions by Concentrix last summer, thousands of working families who relied on tax credits had their payments stopped without warning leaving them unable to pay their bills or put food on the table. A campaign led by Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh MP forced HMRC to reinstate the payments for the vast majority of those that were affected.
18. Fighting against the UK government Universal Credit.
The Tories have broken their promises to delivering a fairer social security system under Universal Credit. Instead it has been an utter failure, and an excuse to cut support for low income families. Drew Hendry MP has been leading the campaign to halt the roll out of Universal Credit and protect working families from the Tories hidden cuts.