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SNP’s Ian Blackford humiliated by ex-party chief over belief Brussels will save Scotland

The former Scottish politician lambasted his party members now led by Nicola Sturgeon over their quest to ensure an independent Scotland rejoins the European Union after Brexit. Mr Sillars told Express.co.uk that Ian Blackford, the SNP Westmisnter leader, is a prime example of how Sturgeon’s colleagues are deluded in their belief the Brussels bloc could save working class people in Scotland from austerity. 

He said: “Well, one of the ironies is that my colleagues in the Scottish National Party keep on – and Ian Blackford is a classic example of this in the House of Commons – saying, we need to go back into the European Union to safeguard the interests of working people.

“The fact of the matter is that the only safeguards that working people had were torn up by the European Union’s troika in Spain, Italy, Greece, and Portugal.

“This is one of the streams things, you know, the SNP seems to be unable to realise.

“The Northern part of the European union oppressed the southern part of the European Union and created austerity there rather than assisting them out of the economic difficulties.”

READ MORE: English tourists demand their money back over Sturgeon border threats

On Thursday, Mr Blackford said that post-Brexit arrangements which the UK Government insists will bring new powers to Scotland pose the “biggest threat to devolution” since Holyrood was established.

The SNP Westminster leader described plans to create a new “internal market” across the UK once the Brexit transition period ends as a “blatant power grab” from Westminster.

Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove has insisted “a power surge is occurring” which will see “scores of new powers” transferred to the Scottish Parliament.

UK ministers have said the return of powers to the UK from Brussels after December 31, when the transition period ends, will see the Northern Ireland administration receive responsibility in 157 of the 160 areas, Scotland in 111 and Wales in 70.

In view of that, the Westminster Government has drawn up plans for a new “internal market” it says is necessary to ensure seamless trade between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

But Scottish Constitution Secretary Mike Russell insisted claims of new powers coming to Holyrood are a “lie”, as he accused Westminster of attempting one of the “most shocking pieces of dishonesty I have seen from a government”.

And Mr Blackford said: “This Tory con trick is a botched attempt to disguise a blatant power grab on the Scottish Parliament, which could see Westminster block Scotland from taking action in devolved areas.

“People in Scotland will not be fooled. Despite the smoke and mirrors, none of the so-called new powers outlined by the Tory Government are new – all are already devolved.

“Crucially, the mechanism proposed would enable Westminster to override Scotland’s democratic decisions and impose its own policies, such as lower standards for food safety, animal and plant health, and environmental protections.

“This is the biggest threat to devolution since the Scottish Parliament was reconvened in 1999.

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“The SNP will resist any attempt to roll-back Scotland’s devolution settlement or block the Scottish Parliament from acting without Westminster’s permission.”

He claimed that if the proposals had already been in place, the Scottish Parliament could have been prevented from introducing key reforms including the smoking ban, minimum pricing for alcohol and free university tuition.

He warned: “We know the Tory Government is prepared to trample over Scotland’s devolution settlement to satisfy (US President) Donald Trump’s trade deal demands.

“This move would increase the risk of chlorine chicken, hormone-injected beef and ractopamine pork imports, and GM foods being imposed on Scotland against our will, and threatening our thriving food and drink industry.”

But UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma insisted without the “necessary reforms, the way we trade goods and services between the home nations could be seriously impacted, harming the way we do business within our own borders”.

Government officials said no action could see a Welsh lamb producer unable to sell their meat in Scotland, or Scotch whisky makers losing access to supply from English barley farmers.



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