Scottish Tory MPs urged to back Labour’s amendments to EU Withdrawal Bill

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Labour has urged Scottish Tory MPs to back its amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill to halt a Westminster power grab.

Shadow Scottish secretary Lesley Laird and shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer, will urge Conservative MPs to support their proposals.

They say the amendments would block Theresa May’s plans for powers returning from Brussels to be hoarded in Westminster after Brexit.

A rebellion of just seven of the Tories’ 13 Scottish MPs would be enough to defeat the Government’s notional majority.

Under party proposals, devolved powers would be passed to devolved legislatures in Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast.

Labour is now urging the Tories’ 13 Scottish MPs to stand up for their constituents and vote to help ensure a Brexit deal that works for Scotland.

Lesley Laird said: “Those of us who believe Scotland’s interests lie within the United Kingdom must ensure powers which belong in Edinburgh after Brexit are returned there without delay.

“Scottish Tories must now make good on their rhetoric and stop this Westminster power grab.”

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson had previously said her MPs in Westminster would argue Scotland’s case “forcefully” and make sure “the union delivers for Scotland”.

Sir Keir Starmer described Theresa May’s withdrawal bill as “fundamentally flawed”.

He said: “It represents an extraordinary power grab from Tory ministers in Westminster and would undermine the Scottish Parliament.

“After the election, Ruth Davidson promised the Scottish Tories would make their case ‘forcefully’ in Westminster.

“If that is the case then she should be telling her MPs to back Labour’s amendments to help protect the devolution settlement and ensure the Government does not have a legislative blank cheque.”

Scottish Conservative MP Paul Masterton said: “There is clearly a deal to be done on the return of powers that respects devolution and protects the UK internal market.

“The Scottish Conservatives want to see both the UK and Scottish Governments work together on this so we can get the best Brexit deal for Scotland.

“Instead of carping from the sidelines the Labour party should join us in these efforts.”