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SNP's Ian Blackford scolded by Nigel Evans as he heckles Alok Sharma in Commons: 'Desist!'


The SNP Westminster leader claimed the Government either fails to understand Scotland or “can’t even be bother to get it” as Business Secretary Alok Sharma announced the Government’s new white paper of devolution. But as Mr Sharma attempted to respond to Ian Blackford, the Scottish politician started heckling the Tory frontbencher forcing Deputy Speaker Nigel Evans to reprimand him.

He blasted: “Mr Blackford, I can hear what you’re shouting.

“Please, desist!”

Mr Sharma continued: “He talks about understanding Scotland, the one thing that is very clear from his statement is that he certainly doesn’t understand businesses in Scotland and he certainly does not understand the people of Scotland on this issue.

“The internal market, the UK internal market is about preserving jobs across the United Kingdom.

“It’s about making sure that we have investment which can come in confident in the knowledge that we have a level playing field, an internal market where businesses can sell services and products across the United Kingdom.”

READ MORE: Ian Blackford”s humiliation as SNP’s independence plan torn apart

He added: “He talks about these powers which will be coming back at the end of this year, at the end of the transition period, and this will be the biggest transfer of powers in the history of devolution.

“I do agree with him though, it’s not going to be 70 powers coming back to Scotland.

“I think it’s closer to 111.

“And he will have an opportunity, his colleagues in the Scottish Parliament will have an opportunity to set rules and regulations.

Mr Miliband said despite environmental matters being devolved, the EU has set minimum standards with all four nations so there has been no divergence, and he urged the Government to let Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland be involved in setting standards going forward.

The Labour MP said: “The absolutely crucial question is not simply whether we have an internal market, which we need, but how we now set minimum standards ensuring each nation has a proper voice in doing so and a means of resolving any disputes that arise.

“By answering these questions we can do all we need to do, which is both keep the internal market and respect devolution.

“Unfortunately, despite the warm words from the Secretary of State, the approach of this White Paper… appears to be simply to legislate that the lowest standard chosen by one parliament must become the minimum standard for all.

“So the risk is that one legislature would be able to lower its food safety standards, its animal welfare standards and force the other nations – who would have no recourse – to accept goods and services produce on that basis. In other words a race to the bottom.”


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