I was heartened to receive a joint email this week from religious leaders across Scotland. They were unanimous in expressing their ‘shared concerns about the potential consequences of the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill’. Their concerns are four-fold.
Firstly, the UK Government breaking international law. Secondly, the passing of legislation without the consent of the Scottish Parliament. Thirdly, the way in which the Good Friday agreement is being undermined and fourthly, the position that Her Majesty’s government is putting the Queen in by asking her to sign legislation which is unlawful. It is disgraceful that the Conservative and Unionists have embarked on this damaging programme. And I am delighted that they have been called out by church leaders. The damage extends across the UK and is particularly harmful to Scotland. It undermines the devolution settlement and the agreed ways of working across the UK following our exit from the EU. It risks more uncertainty and confusion for businesses and consumers. It encourages harmful deregulation without democratic accountability or proper Parliamentary scrutiny. While it explicitly gives UK Ministers wide new powers in currently devolved areas of economic support. The irony of a UK Government that continually accuses the SNP of seeking grievances to promote independence, dreaming up the UK internal market bill should not be lost on anyone. It’s proof, if proof is needed, of the arrogant self-serving nature of One Nation Conservatism which serves only one master and that’s the Conservative and Unionist government.