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Sturgeon accused of 'power grab too far' as SNP leader looks to extend emergency controls

Jackie Baillie MSP accused Sturgeon of using her majority in Parliament to bully through “Henry VIII-style” powers that will give the SNP unmitigated control over Scotland. She said that while emergency powers during the pandemic were “appropriate”, Sturgeon is now seeking to extend that control beyond the crisis, stripping the Scottish Government of their right to approve legislative action and undermining democracy.

She told The Spectator: “It’s been astonishing, what’s been described as sweeping Henry VIII powers that the Scottish government is seeking will enable them without scrutiny, without approval of the Scottish Parliament, to simply change primary legislation in whatever way they wish. 

“I think that is frankly just a power grab too far. If you look at the consultation, civic Scotland is opposed to this. 

“In fact, I think 80 to 90 percent of respondents said this just went too far and was not appropriate. 

“Unfortunately, the SNP now have a majority in Parliament alongside their partners, the Greens, so this will go through unless we can make sufficient noise to stop it from happening. 

“While it is appropriate to give people emergency powers, and the Parliament was able to do that quite quickly, the reality is that when it comes to laying regulations, they only seek approval after the event. 

The Bill in question is the Recovery and Reform Bill, otherwise known as the Coronavirus Bill. 

It was introduced on January 25, 2022 by John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for COVID Recovery. 

It is currently going through the parliament committee stage, and will allow Scottish ministers to “modify or amend” any act of Parliament without the previously-due approval of Parliament. 

The Bill has been fiercely criticised by the public for undermining the democratic opportunity to vicariously have their say in Parliament via elected representatives. 

READ MORE: SNP warned over ‘abuse of power’ – Sturgeon accused of ‘no respect’ [REPORT] 

Speaking in Holyrood, Ross said: ““These powers are extraordinary. They were introduced to be used in an emergency only. 

“Outside of the most severe crises, the Government shouldn’t have such sweeping, extensive powers to curb freedoms and control people’s lives.” 

Scotland’s First Minister Sturgeon defended the legislative action, claiming that it will help synchronise public health protection powers with England. 

She said: “The Covid Recovery and Reform Bill, indecently, will bring public health protection powers in Scotland into line with public health protection powers that have been in place in England, under a Conservative Government, for the last 10 years.



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