HOLYROOD has rejected the UK’s post-Brexit trade agreement with the EU, despite overwhelming support from Westminster.
With one abstention, MPs voted 92 to 30, to reject the bill’s legislative approval, which brings into effect the 1,246-page agreement signed on Christmas Eve.
The EU bill was voted against by all parties except the Scottish Tories on the grounds that it would “severely damage Scotland’s environmental, economic and social interests” and that very little time was given for proper scrutiny.
Former SNP minister Alex Neil, the only MP in his party to publicly support Brexit, abstained.
An SNP government motion against the bill was coupled with a Labour amendment calling on Edinburgh and London to “work together to ensure that current workers’ and Erasmus rights are protected and that the highest environmental standards are met.”
In the House of Commons, MPs voted 521 to 73 in favor of the same law.
Holyrood’s Committee on Europe has recommended that the bill not be approved.
The vote at Holyrood is not binding, since it may – and will – be overruled by Westminster.
“Under the Sewel Convention, Westminster would not “normally” legislate without Holyrood’s approval in devolved regions, although the U.K. The state insists that Brexit is not natural.
The Scottish government said the agreement is worse than remaining in the EU in any way, with its modeling projecting a dent in the Scottish economy of 6.1 percent (£9 billion) by 2030.
Nicola Sturgeon also emphasized that in 2016, Scotland did not vote to leave the EU, saying that independence alone would allow the country to choose its own future.
At the beginning of the debate, the prime minister said that with the Brexit deal, the British government had shown “utter contempt for Scotland and our people”
She said the EU deal would “make us less free” and cost British companies £ 7 billion in extra regulatory regulations per year.
“This has to be the worst negotiating outcome in history, a hard Brexit for Scotland and a wholesale sell-out of Scotland’s fishing industry,”This has to be the worst negotiating outcome in history, a tough Brexit for Scotland and a wholesale sale-out of the fishing industry in Scotland,”complicit”complicit.
“None of these free trade deals will make up for membership of the world’s biggest single market if we’re ripped off against our will in two days.”None of these free trade deals will make up for membership of the largest single market in the world if in two days we are ripped off against our will.
She also accused Boris Johnson’s Tories of “betraying” the fishing fleet of Scotland if it leaves the EU, just as it was betrayed by Ted Heath’s government when it entered the EU in 1973.
She said, “Even the fishing industry, which was the only sector hoping to benefit from Brexit, has been thoroughly abandoned.”
As many of us have pointed out, the Tory government’s commitments to fisheries were never deliverable, however they were made, and the industry had a right to rely on them.
“The betrayal is there in this agreement for all to see.
‘There is a long-term arrangement providing access to UK waters for EU boats; access and quota sharing are included in the potential economic partnership; and access to waters is not only connected to, but strongly enshrined in, the overall trade agreement.
Every Tory pledge to the fishermen of Scotland was broken and every Tory red line was crossed.
The fishing industry has been misled and betrayed by the Tories once again. It was compromised on the way to the EU by the Tories and betrayed on the way out of the EU by them.’
Ms. Sturgeon also regularly attacked the leader of the Tories’ Holyrood parliamentary party, Ruth Davidson, accusing her of abandoning her earlier hard-line position against Brexit and favoring membership in the single market in return for a seat in the House of Lords.
“It was not long ago that Ruth Davidson made it known that she would resign rather than support a differentiated Northern Ireland agreement,” the FM said.
“It is amazing what the offer of a seat in the House of Lords can do with the slightest hint of a Ruth Davidson principle.”
Ms. Davidson said that those who voted against the deal voted by default for a no deal, citing the pro-Independence agreement.