According to the dictionary, a stand-off is a noun and it is described as “a deadlock between two equally matched opponents in a dispute or conflict.” It would certainly appear to most people who support our departure from the EU that Johnson and Rees Mogg are far superior to Sturgeon and Drakeford. After all the leadership of the United Kingdom Parliament is further up the tree than the leadership of Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly. However the constitution for the UK, although it is very inadequate and needs to be written down in one place with changes in many areas, currently means that the three other agencies which include the Northern Ireland Assembly need to give consent to UK Parliament Bills that impact the other three nations. However it would appear that our Prime Minister who to be fair is both new to the job and has so far only managed to get one bill part way through Parliament since he was appointed, clearly does not understand the constitution and has not been very well advised by his team.
Speaking on Wednesday in Parliament, Ian Blackford, the leader of the SNP group in Parliament asked: “Within the last hour, the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales joined forces to oppose this Tory Government’s damaging Brexit Bill—a Bill that risks jobs, opportunities and our entire economic future. Scotland did not vote for this toxic Tory Brexit or any Brexit. It voted overwhelmingly to remain. Will the Prime Minister stop ignoring Scotland and confirm today that he will not allow this Bill to pass unless consent is given by the Scottish Parliament—yes or no?”
The response from Boris was very clear, if entirely mistaken “I note carefully what the right hon. Gentleman has to say, but, as he knows, the Scottish Parliament has no role in approving this deal. On the contrary, it is up to the Members of this Parliament to approve the deal. I am delighted to say that they did, although it did not proceed with the support of many Scottish nationalist MPs—[Interruption.] Or any of them.”
It is vital that the leader of Parliament spends some time learning about how the laws that he is attempting to introduce into our nation need to be processed. After all as he is hoping for a General Election to take place in the near future and is hoping that his party will gain some additional seats so that he can begin to pass laws through Parliament, if he ignores or misunderstands the constitution that his party has helped create, the risk is that our national credibility will become even more damaged.
The real and most terrible irony is that in the notes of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill that Parliament has approved for the first and second reading, explain that the consent of the devolved parliaments is a requirement of the Government.