Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

SNP MPs walk out of PMQs in protest over Brexit debate

SNP MPs walk out of PMQs in protest over Brexit debate

The SNP has set its sights on sabotaging the Brexit Trade Bill as its Westminster leader warned his MPs are prepared to use further guerrilla tactics to "frustrate" the Government.

Turning to the speaker, he said: "Under the circumstances, given the disrespect shown, I have got no option but to ask that this House sits in private".

The SNP has described this as a "democratic outrage" and claimed that Scotland's voice is being silenced while UK Government ministers carried out a "power grab".

He repeatedly shouted "not now" at the SNP leader, who repeatedly tried to move his motion and force a vote in the middle of the PMQs session.

Blackford then refused to sit back down and Bercow asked him to leave due to the "repeated and insistent refusal to resume his seat when so instructed" the Commons and not return for the rest of the day.

Mr Blackford was angered after time ran out for debate on the EU (Withdrawal) Bill on Tuesday night. "It is a democratic outrage".

Yesterday, I asked the Prime Minister to do the right thing.

People have "surged" to join Nicola Sturgeon's party, a source said, to unite against a "power grab" by the Conservatives on Brexit. It is an absolute disgrace. Yet the United Kingdom government proceeded to downgrade devolution and defy the Scottish people. "I will do that".

Blackford was repeatedly told to take his seat after he demanded a vote on the House sitting in private, after Theresa May refused to bring forward emergency legislation on her Brexit plans. It is not acceptable.

The Sewel Convention says that the United Kingdom government can not legislate without the consent of the Scottish Parliament on devolved matters - consent was denied and yet the Tories railroaded through their power-grab. While we are fighting to keep power in Scotland's hands, the Tories are fighting to take power from Scotland.

The passing of the EU Withdrawal Bill meant powers which were supposed to return to the Scottish Parliament after the United Kingdom leaves the EU would go to Westminster for a period of seven years, a move which SNP MPs broke with the Sewel convention that changes to devolution would not occur without the consent of the Scottish Parliament. He added: "Disappointed, if not surprised, that if they really felt so strongly about it, they chose a stunt over holding the Government to account".

The party's MPs followed Westminster leader Ian Blackford out of the House of Commons chamber on Wednesday after he was was ordered to leave by Speaker John Bercow.

The comments were met by cheers and claps from across the chamber.

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