SNP walk out of Commons after weird Speaker row

Remigio Civitarese
Giugno 13, 2018

THE SNP's MPs have walked out on mass at Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, after the Speaker of the House refused a call by Ian Blackford to have an emergency vote and demanded he leave the chamber.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said the SNP was about to be granted a debate on the devolution aspects of the EU Withdrawal Bill.

Mr Bercow said he would be happy to take a vote on the issue after PMQs, but after Mr Blackford repeatedly refused to sit down, he ordered him to leave.

He said: "The Prime Minister gave a commitment said she would treat Scotland as a union of equals but last night she pressed ahead with a power grab of Scotland's elected parliament".

He made the freakish and telling claim that 'even if we'd had 100 hours of debate, the situation wouldn't have changed, ' proving the United Kingdom government's contempt for Scottish devolution and desire to rollback the powers of the devolved parliament.

Speaking afterward, Blackford said: "I called for the House to sit in private - using parliament's own procedures to ensure Scotland's voice is heard on Brexit".

"They are the masters of manufactured grievance and the people of Scotland are sick of it".

He told BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland programme: "Even if we had had 100 hours of debate the outcome wouldn't have changed because the SNP and Scottish Government position is exactly the same as it was on day one of this Bill". That is a democratic outrage.

The suspension prompted all SNP MPs to walk out of Commons chamber, pointing and jeering at Tory MPs. Such a complex endeavour is bound to complicate the agenda of Prime Minister Theresa May as she tries to negotiate Brexit.

While Conservatives at Westminster say some of these must come to Parliament to allow for common frameworks to be established in areas such as agriculture and environmental regulations, ministers at Holyrood fear the powers of the Scottish Parliament could be restrained for up to seven years.

The speaker of the house John Bercow MP appeared flustered and unprepared for the request, at first responding that it couldn't be heard, then stating that it could be, and finally deciding that it would only be heard at the end of Prime Minister's Questions.

The Scottish Parliament has already voted against giving its formal consent to the Withdrawal Bill, with SNP, Labour, Green and Lib Dem MSPs united in this stance.

Moments later, Nicola Sturgeon tweeted she was "right behind" her party's MPs.

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