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ISP Statement on the Internal Market Bill

We could have lined up with everyone else yesterday to condemn the Internal Market bill. We didn’t. There are enough column inches condemning this for what it is; a power grab on devolution and the reduction of Holyrood to the parish council that Tony Blair spoke about. It may feel good to vent, but it does not change the fact that the Scottish Government have been outmaneouvered. Why this behaviour comes as a surprise to anyone is puzzling; Johnson, Cummings and others have shown time and again their disregard for process and their utter recklessness in breaking the law. They have been smashing up the country for four years since Brexit and will have no qualms doing the same to devolution; they already are doing the same thing to devolution. That does not mean that there is nothing that can be done. We would implore the SNP to immediately do the following:

Bring forward your referendum bill. If it’s not drafted, draft it. Get all your people on it. Clear the legislative decks in Holyrood and start the process of putting it through. Yes, there’s going to be obstacles, but you have a working majority with the Greens and you have the majority of the Scottish people behind you. Put independence front and centre of the debate and tie it to the shambles that is happening in Westminster. Doing this now will enable you to have the national discussion required on the future of Scotland and it will mean that you will not need to waste months putting it through after May. It means that you will be ready to call a referendum directly after the May election. Do it now.  

Dig your heels in, in Westminster. Object to each and every piece of legislation going through. There are several hundred pieces of legislation to be amended in the wake of the exit from the EU alone. Grind Westminster’s gears and bring them to a halt. That is what the Irish did in 1874  to prevent the Coercion acts and to get Westminster to take Home Rule seriously..

Support and promote Martin Keating’s action on Section 30.. He needs your help. You have QCs in your party who are constitutional experts and who went all the way to the Supreme Court over prorogation. You can surely help out a young man who is fighting battles for you.

Consider going to the courts yourselves over the Internal Market Bill as a breach of the ministerial code and international law.

Make the Holyrood May election a plebiscite on independence. And stop turning your fire on parties like ourselves who support independence. You need a two thirds majority in Holyrood to call a snap election. You won’t get it without us.

There are some who say it is too late. But there is much that can be done, and ground can be regained  – if you have the will  to do it. Today we call on the SNP to act and use the powers at its disposal to resist the Internal Market Bill by every means possible. And we call on every MP and MSP of every party to strain every sinew in resisting this lawless, reckless, out of control Westminster Parliament. If we do nothing Scotland will cease to be a nation and truly become North Britain.

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