Here we go again! SNP’s Blackford hints Nicola Sturgeon could go to court to stop Brexit
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Speaking to Channel 4 News, the SNP’s Westminster leader claimed his party leader Nicola Sturgeon will do anything necessary to stop Boris Johnson’s latest Brexit plan which he believes undermines the devolved powers of Scotland. But confronted with the impossibility to stop the Prime Minister passing the Internal Market Bill aimed at the revisitation of the withdrawal agreement in Parliament, Mr Blackford failed to deny the Scottish First Minister could attempt to take Mr Johnson to court over the issue.
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Mr Blackford said: “The simple fact of the matter is that this is disrespecting devolution, it’s disrespecting Scotland and it’s disrespecting the referendum.
“So we’ll look at all options.
“But the message to everybody in Scotland is we face an election next year to the Scottish Parliament.
“If the SNP win that election well, the mandate for an independence referendum with that bill on the referendum to come in front of the Scottish Parliament, let’s – to use the phrase – take back control ourselves.
“Let’s stop Boris Johnson taking a wrecking ball to devolution.”
The European Commission has also called for urgent talks with Britain as the Government set out its plans to override key elements of the Brexit deal signed by Boris Johnson.
Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said she was “very concerned” following the tabling in Parliament of the UK Internal Market Bill, which ministers have admitted will breach international law.
As talks continued in London on a post-Brexit free trade agreement, she said such actions would “undermine trust” and called on the Prime Minister to honour his past commitments.
Her warning came as Sir John Major became the latest senior Conservative to denounce Mr Johnson’s decision to go back on assurances he had made in an internationally binding treaty.
“For generations, Britain’s word – solemnly given – has been accepted by friend and foe. Our signature on any treaty or agreement has been sacrosanct,” the former prime minister said in a statement.
“Over the last century, as our military strength has dwindled, our word has retained its power. If we lose our reputation for honouring the promises we make, we will have lost something beyond price that may never be regained.”
Ministers have argued legislation is necessary to protect the Northern Ireland peace process if the two sides are unable to agree a free trade deal before the current Brexit transition period runs out at the end of the year.
However, commission vice president Maros Sefcovic said he was seeking an urgent meeting of the joint EU-UK committee on the Brexit withdrawal agreement to enable the British to “elaborate” on their plans.
Speaking at a news conference in Brussels, Mr Sefcovic said he had raised his concerns in a phone call on Tuesday with Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove – his co-chair on the committee.
“The withdrawal agreement is not open for renegotiation and we expect the letter and the spirit of the withdrawal agreement will be fully respected. I think on that we have to be very, very clear,” he said.
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In the Commons, Mr Johnson defended the legislation, saying it provided a “legal safety net” to protect against “extreme or irrational interpretations” of the Northern Ireland provisions of the agreement which could lead to the creation of “a border down the Irish Sea”.
However, Mrs von der Leyen tweeted: “Very concerned about announcements from the British government on its intentions to breach the withdrawal agreement. This would break international law and undermines trust.
“Pacta sunt servanda (agreements must be kept) = the foundation of prosperous future relations.”
A UK Government spokesman said it welcomed Mr Sefcovic’s request for an additional meeting of the joint committee and would be looking to agree a date with his team.
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