Tue 18 Aug, 2020

This is not just a power grab, it’s an attack on the very notion of devolution itself Patrick Harvie

The UK Government must drop its plans to hold a veto over devolved powers after the number of critics have grown, the Scottish Greens have said.

Since the Greens raised alarms about the potential impact of ‘Internal market’ white paper on the democratic decisions of the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh and Scottish governments have rejected the proposals.

Scottish Environment Link has said the internal market could “seriously harm” environmental standards , while public health campaigning groups including Alcohol Focus Scotland and Obesity Action Scotland have warned corporate interests will be prioritised over public health.

Over 5,000 Scots have written to business secretary Alok Sharma via the Scottish Greens website calling for the UK Government to scrap the proposals.

Speaking ahead of today's Holyrood debate on the internal market, Scottish Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie said: “I’m not surprised the voices of alarm are growing about these damaging and undemocratic proposals. This is not just a power grab, it’s an attack on the very notion of devolution itself.

“Putting the market before democracy is very dangerous indeed. It threatens our environmental, food and farming standards. It threatens Scotland’s decisions to ban fracking or prevent new nuclear power stations. It could be applied to our bold public health measures such as minimum unit pricing, and it certainly could allow further private sector involvement in our NHS.

“The UK Government must withdraw any plans to hold a veto over the Scottish Parliament immediately. Alok Sharma will have seen from his inbox this is unwarranted and unwanted.”

 Leaders of the Scottish Greens, Green Party of Northern Ireland and the Green Party of England and Wales wrote to Alok Sharma in response to the consultation last week.

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