Boris Johnson's Brexiteers want to 'take back control' of Scotland and the devolved nations – Angus Robertson MSP

Only a few weeks ago, new systems were put in place to improve working relationships between governments across the United Kingdom.

Tuesday, 1st February 2022, 12:30 pm
The UK government intends to legislate in areas which are devolved to the Scottish Parliament (Picture: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
The UK government intends to legislate in areas which are devolved to the Scottish Parliament (Picture: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

This follows worsening cooperation, coordination and communication between Whitehall and the devolved institutions in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

At the time of the announced changes, I reacted positively as the Scottish government Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution. However I warned that a change of attitude was required from the UK government to make the changes work.

Little did I know that it would only take a few weeks to see that nothing has changed and things remain as bad as they have ever been.

Last Friday the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish ministers were summoned to a rare weekend meeting where the UK Attorney General announced plans to legislate in areas which are devolved.

This happened without consultation, without advance notice and with the clear intention to distract from Boris Johnson’s ongoing current difficulties with the truth, the law and remaining in power. The meeting was a debacle.

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It’s not an everyday occurrence that there is unity of purpose from the SNP, Labour Party, DUP and Sinn Fein.

All devolved ministers on the call, myself included, were unhappy about the approach of the UK government which effectively paid lip service to devolved institutions and barely concealed their intentions to roll back the devolution settlement.

It is now abundantly clear that not only do Brexiteers want to bring back control from the European Union, they want to over-rule devolution in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary

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