World News – AU – Holyrood and Stormont reject « catastrophic » Brexit trade deal

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The Scottish and Northern Irish Parliaments reject the deal in symbolic votes as the Westminster MPs vote it through

Boris Johnson’s Brexit trade deal has been vigorously opposed by the Scottish and Northern Irish Parliaments as the decentralized nations of Great Britain have labeled it disastrous and harmful.

Holyrood and Stormont passed motions condemning the deal by a large majority after all three decentralized parliaments were hastily recalled from their Christmas breaks to debate the UK government’s last minute deal with the EU.

Only Labor-dominated Welsh Senedd backed the deal after Prime Minister Mark Drakeford said the « thin and disappointing » deal was at least « a platform for better deals to be negotiated in the future ». .

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, told Holyrood that the trade deal went roughly beyond the wishes of Scotland, which had repeatedly voted against leaving the EU and then urged Britain to stay in the single market and betrayed Scotland’s fishing industry.

The deal betrayed Scotland’s fishing industry and was a « democratic, economic and social disaster » and « catastrophic, » she told MSPs. The signal from the Brexit agreement would fuel her party’s pressure for a second independence referendum in the Holyrood elections in May. It reiterated that only independence would protect Scotland’s interests.

« The Westminster system is irreparable, » she said. “As an independent European country, we deserve the best of all. ”

Scottish Labor received widespread criticism for supporting Sturgeon’s motion, despite Keir Starmer calling for the party to support the deal in Westminster and Welsh Labor’s endorsement in Cardiff.

Richard Leonard, the Scottish Labor leader, denied allegations that his party was in disarray and voted in different ways in different parliaments.

He said Sturgeon’s carefully crafted motion, which was also supported by the Scottish Greens and Scottish Liberal Democrats, focused on Johnson’s failure to properly consult the decentralized nations and accepted that a no-deal outcome must be avoided.

In a small win for Labor, a large majority of MSPs backed Leonard’s amendment calling for intergovernmental efforts to improve workers’ rights and the full replacement of the Erasmus student exchange program and the Sturgeon government for 300 Spending millions of pounds in reserve to mitigate the worst effects of Brexit.

The Holyrood vote was symbolic rather than legislative. In Wednesday’s Commons vote, which had legal implications, the SNP joined the Liberal Democrats, all of the Northern Irish parties sitting in Westminster, the one Green MP and one Labor rebel who voted against.

In Stormont, members of the assembly lamented the deal as a blow to Northern Ireland, but disagreed on the damage and who was responsible.

While the main motion merely « took note of » the deal, the House voted 49-38 for an SDLP-sponsored amendment that Stormont « rejects Brexit » in line with Northern Ireland’s vote “Stay in the EU in 2016.

It was widespread that a no-deal crash – and the specter of tariffs – had been avoided, but speakers were concerned about the disappearance of EU funds and the cost to businesses of tariff barriers between the region and the rest of the US United Kingdom. Unionists also expressed concern about the constitutional implications of a de facto border along the Irish Sea.

The nationalists of Sinn Féin and the SDLP found a common cause with the Ulster Unionists and the unaligned alliance by pointing a finger at the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), the only group that is pulling Britain out of the EU had supported.

“Those who have told companies that their products are being sold under free trade agreements around the world are responsible for making those companies less prosperous. So you own everything, ”said John O’Dowd of Sinn Féin.

Christopher Stalford of the DUP said other parties created the maritime border by opposing controls on the land border with the Republic of Ireland. « You stood up for it, you delivered it, you own it – not us, » he said.

Brexit, European Union, Boris Johnson, UK House of Commons

World News – AU – Holyrood and Stormont reject ‘catastrophic’ Brexit trade deal

Ref: https://www.theguardian.com

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