Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael, Liberal Democrat, abstained last night (12th of June) on crucial amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill being debated in the House of Commons.
The amendment which was inserted into the Bill by the House of Lords was intended to protect the Devolution settlement for the 3 nations of the United Kingdom – Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
By abstaining on the Power Grab amendment Alistair Carmichael, his Liberal Democratic colleagues and the Labour Party MPs insured that the Tory Government would win the vote. The debate had been left with only 15 minutes to discuss the issue and no Scottish MPs were called as the time was taken up by Tory David Liddington,Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
The vote for the amendment which would have retained the devolved powers with the Scottish Parliament was :
- Plaid Cymru: 4
- Green Party: 1
- Liberal Democrat :1
- Labour: 1
The Scottish Parliament with the exception of the Tories voted to protect the powers devolved to it. There is now a disconnect between the Liberal Democrats and Labour MPs who vote one way in the House of Commons – to remove powers from the Scottish Parliament – and the MSPs who voted to retain those powers.
During Prime Minister’s Questions on Thursday 13th of June the SNP MPs walked out of the Chamber when they were refused a private debate on the Devolution Settlement and to the threat to it by the EU Withdrawal Bill.
The passing of the EU Withdrawal Bill means that control over farming, fishing, the environment and many other issues including fracking will be controlled by London.
Reporter: Fiona Grahame