Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale today said Labour will not support the Tories’ EU Withdrawal Bill unless there is a ‘clear presumption of devolution’.
Ms Dugdale said the Tories are intent on forcing through a Brexit that risks jobs and livelihoods, and the SNP has no interest in the deal that works for the entire UK, meaning only Labour is committed to an alternative to Theresa May’s Brexit plans.
Ms Dugdale this week met with Labour’s Shadow Secretary for Exiting the European Union, Keir Starmer, in London.
Commenting on the publication of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said:
“This Bill may have changed name yet again, but that can’t disguise Theresa May’s attempt to force a Brexit on the UK that risks jobs and livelihoods.
“Labour believes there should be a jobs-first Brexit; not one that allows the Tories to erode workplace rights, consumer rights or environmental standards.
“Labour will seek a clear and binding commitment to repatriate powers in devolved areas to the Scottish Parliament. We will insist this must be done in a short, but achievable timeframe.
“If there is not a clear presumption of devolution, as well as the other demands set out by Keir Starmer, Labour has been clear that our MPs will not support this Bill in the Commons.
“It is my firm belief that we must not lose sight of the potential to strengthen the powers of the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh and Northern Irish Assemblies or the regions of England as part of a more federal United Kingdom.
“The Bill must also set out an acceptable financial settlement to accompany the newly devolved powers, as the Tories cannot be allowed to simply inflict further austerity on UK nations and regions.
“The SNP has absolutely no interest in a Brexit deal that works for the entire UK, and it’s now fundamentally clear that Labour is the only party committed to an alternative to Theresa May’s Brexit that will deliver for the many, not the few.”