Nicola Sturgeon opened SNP conference, and set out new action we’ll take to protect Scotland’s interests from an increasingly right-wing UK government.
It’s become clear that the right wing of the Tory party is seeking to hijack the referendum result to make sure Brexit means Tory Brexit.
Every part of Scotland voted to remain, with 62 per cent support across the country as a whole.
In today’s speech Nicola outlined further steps. Here’s what you need to know.
At Westminster, we’ll seek to build a coalition against a hard Brexit.
SNP MPs will vote against the Tory Brexit Bill when it comes before the House of Commons next year. That Bill would repeal the legislation that enacted our EU membership. That’s not what Scotland voted for, and neither will SNP MPs.
At Westminster SNP MPs will work to persuade others – from all parties – to join us in a coalition against a hard Brexit. Hard Brexit would be disastrous for the economy. Leaked Treasury figures show it could cost the UK up to £66 billion per year. In Scotland, 80,000 jobs could be lost.
We’ll make sure the Scottish Parliament’s voice is heard.
After the independence referendum, we were told that the ‘Sewel Convention’ would be enshrined in law. In plain English, that means that the UK Parliament could not make law in devolved areas without the consent of the Scottish Parliament.
This recommendation was included in the Smith Commission – and every party signed up to it. The Tories, who are now trying to renege on it, must honour this commitment. To do otherwise would be an act of constitutional vandalism.
We will seek additional powers for the Scottish Parliament.
As a minimum, those powers that currently lie with the EU, but in areas of devolved responsibility, must come to the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish Government will also seek additional powers that would allow us to protect our interests. These include powers to strike international deals, greater powers over immigration, and powers to safeguard our economy too.
Building on the work undertaken since the EU referendum, the Scottish Government will table specific proposals to protect Scotland’s interests in Europe and keep us in the single market.
Our call for additional powers for Scotland will be set out by the Scottish Government in a plan to protect Scotland’s interests in the UK’s Article 50 negotiations. The plan will include keeping Scotland in the single market. Find out why that’s important here.
The consultation on a referendum Bill will be published next week.
The legislation for another referendum will be ready for introduction to the Scottish Parliament at any time after the triggering of Article 50, should it prove to be necessary to protect Scotland’s interests.