Laird urges Scottish MPs to ‘speak with one voice’ on devolution deal

Scotland’s MPs should ‘speak with one voice’ and back a bid to broker a Brexit devolution deal, Lesley Laird said today [Monday].
Scottish Labour’s deputy leader has called for MPs representing Scotland to back Labour’s amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill to ensure that the devolution settlement is protected.

The party’s amendments would cut the proposed post-transition period ‘sunset clause’ from five to three years.

The sunset clause refers to 
how long UK government legislation can last on matters coming back from the EU after the transition period on areas which fall within the devolved remit of the Scottish Parliament.

However, in a significant step, Labour also proposes that consent from the Scottish Parliament must be sought unless the UK government has to legislate in an area which involves an international obligation. 

This approach is consistent with the 1998 Scotland Act, thus respecting Scotland’s devolution settlement. 

The amendment has been tabled by the UK party’s front bench, including leader Jeremy Corbyn, Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, Keir Starmer and Shadow Scottish Secretary Lesley Laird.

Labour Shadow Secretary of State Lesley Laird said:
“Scotland’s MPs should speak with one voice and back Labour’s bid to protect the devolution settlement.

“Labour is the party of devolution and we will always defend it. We have tried to find solutions throughout this process that delivers a result for the people of Scotland. 

“Labour has been the only party making a serious attempt to break the 
Brexit deadlock, and these proposals are a serious attempt to stop the UK heading towards a constitutional crisis over devolution.

“The people of Scotland just want this mess fixed. It’s time to do that, and Labour has outlined a path.”