UK Government fails to enshrine Sewel Convention

25th January 2017

The Sewel Convention guarantees that the UK Government would not interfere in the devolved competencies of the Scottish Parliament. Scotland was promised that the Sewel Convention would be enshrined in law and during the independence referendum that Scotland would be an equal partner in the UK.

Yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling stated that a Legislative Consent Motion was not required from the devolved nations of the UK to trigger Article 50 showing that the UK Government failed in its promise to legally enshrine the Sewel Convention. But the Court did rule that the Convention was of political importance which must be respected. Theresa May must therefore seriously consider the proposals put forward by the Scottish Government to respect the wishes of the Scottish people and keep Scotland in the single market.

At Westminster, the SNP will table 50 amendments to Article 50 that will aim to protect Scotland’s interests focussing on ensuring the government presents a white paper with its plan for the UK exiting the EU; that the government secures unanimous agreement from the Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC) on triggering Article 50 and; the UK government receives agreement from the EU that any failure to agree the terms of exit by the UK Parliament will result in the maintenance of UK membership on existing terms. The SNP Westminster group will vote against the triggering of Article 50 in Parliament unless our substantive amendments are passed. We do not support the isolationist agenda of the UK government.

If she fails to respect Scotland’s interests, the Prime Minister is only making the choice of a second independence referendum more likely.