A LEADING Scottish pressure group has said it “disassociates itself rom the UK Government’s controversial bill which is set to break international law.

The European Movement in Scotland has written to European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen this morning, as well as EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier, Charles Michel, European Council president, and David Sassoli, European Parliament president,

In a furious letter, the lobby group’s chairman David Clarke has said he “utterly condemns” the “reckless behaviour” of the UK Government, and adds that the Internal Markets Bill is an “assault on devolution”.

He wrote: “I am writing on behalf of the hundreds of members and supporters of the European Movement in Scotland to let you, and all our EU friends and partners, know that we dissociate ourselves entirely from the reckless behaviour of the United Kingdom Government.

“We share the view of the European Union that the Internal Market Bill is a breach of the undertaking in the Withdrawal Agreement to negotiate in good faith. It puts at risk the rule of law, it jeopardises arrangements for the continuation of peace on the island of Ireland and makes more likely a no deal outcome to the EU/UK trade negotiations. We utterly condemn this disgraceful and underhand proposal and support the EU’s demand that international law is upheld. It is not in our name. ”

Mr Clark continued to outline the difficulties with the proposals for Scotland, adding that the UK Government would keep powers transferred back from the EU and ” exercise them on its own”

He said:” Further powers are given to UK ministers to spend in devolved areas. UK ministers can also decide the conditions of such spending.

“So the UK will gain more powers and it will exercise them on its own. There is no equivalent in the UK to the binding subsidiarity and proportionality principles in the EU.

“The Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government are having their powers cut against the democratic will of the voters of Scotland. This Bill is an assault on democracy.”

He concluded by asking the European mandarins to “leave a light on” for Scotland in the EU and added that the actions of the UK Government were “not in our name”.

It comes as tensions mount over the controversial bill which is due to go before Parliament on Monday.

The SNP has lodged an amendment, supported by members of six other parties, rejecting the bill outright. Both the Welsh and Scottish Governments claim it is an attempt at a power grab from devolved administrations.

Irish politicians say the bill could destabilise the Good Friday agreement, while US House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi warned the UK not to “mess” with the Good Friday agreement.

She said: “This news comes to us practically in the middle of the night . . . that the UK had decided to undermine the Good Friday accords. What were they thinking?

“Whatever it is, I hope they’re not thinking of a US-US bilateral trade agreement.”



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