Colin Beattie MSP has given his reaction to the supreme court ruling on which took place on Wednesday 23 November.
The UK Supreme Court ruled that the Scottish Parliament does not have the power to hold a second independence referendum.
Mr Beattie states the Supreme Court ruling must be respected but it demonstrates that Scotland is not part of a voluntary union.
Commenting Colin Beattie MSP said:
“The decision by the UK Supreme Court to rule against the right of Scotland to hold a referendum on its constitutional future brought clarity to the view of London on the rights of the people of Scotland.
“In their view Scotland has no democratic rights outside of Westminster despite politicians consistently reiterating that Scotland is an equal partner in the Union with England. They further have repeatedly emphasised that it is a voluntary partnership between equal nations.
“This single decision by the UK Supreme Court completely debunks those reassurances. Scotland is no longer in a voluntary union with England and clearly it never was. We are held within this debased union by force of law and the majority votes held by England in the Westminster parliament.
“Democracy must and will prevail. We must all defend our Parliament and our rights to decide our own future through the ballot box.”
ALL ELIGIBLE FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN UNDER-16 ELIGIBLE FOR SUPPORT
The Scottish Child Payment has been increased from £20 to £25 per week per child, meaning 5,020 families in Midlothian and East Lothian are set to receive a boost to their household incomes from the Scottish Government.
Eligibility for the payment, which is only available in Scotland, has also been extended, meaning eligible families in Midlothian and East Lothian with children under the age of 16 can now apply for the Scottish Child Payment.
Colin Beattie is encouraging families in Midlothian and East Lothian to apply for the support.
Commenting, Colin Beattie said:
“The extension of the Scottish Child Payment could be a turning point for families in Midlothian, East Lothian and across Scotland as the support is extending from £20 to £25.
“We have already heard from anti-poverty charities how the payment has been ‘game-changing’ for families with children under-6 and now as the support is extended to families with children under-16 more will have extra cash in their pockets to get through this Tory-made cost of living crisis.
“The Scottish Child Payment is only available in Scotland and demonstrates how the SNP Scottish Government is building a social security system based on fairness, dignity and respect.
“However, the Scottish Government continues to work with one hand tied behind its back by a UK government which is preparing to inflict austerity 2.0 on families across Scotland.
“There is only one way we can escape the chaos of Westminster and build a fairer, more equal Scotland and that is by becoming an independent country.”
FAMILIES IN MIDLOTHIAN AND EAST LOTHIAN SAVE ON AVERAGE £5,000 ON CHILDCARE COSTS
The number of children benefitting from free early learning and childcare in Midlothian stands at 1,711 and East Lothian stands at 1,949. Saving the average family £5,000 per eligible child on childcare costs.
Among the children who are eligible, 216 eligible two-year-olds and 3,471 across Midlothian and East Lothian are taking up the 1140 hours on offer.
Across Scotland, 83,237 children aged between two and five were accessing the full 1140 hours of ELC for free.
Figures also show the number of children accessing free ELC has increased by 3% on the previous year.
Commenting, Colin Beattie MSP said:
“Scotland is the only part of the UK to offer 1140 hours of free childcare to all three and four-year-olds and eligible two-year-olds.
“This has saved families in Midlothian and East Lothian £5,000 per eligible child, which is a significant saving at a time when costs are skyrocketing as a result of the Tory-made cost of living crisis.
“Childcare also benefits children too by enriching their early years and giving them the confidence and skills they need to prepare them for school.
“The Scottish Government continues to provide support for families in Midlothian, East Lothian and across Scotland with measures like this and other support like the Scottish Child Payment, which will be extended to all eligible under-16s by the end of the year.
“However, it continues to do so with one hand tied behind its back by a Westminster government that has slashed support for families and has caused the biggest squeeze on household budgets in decades.
“That is why only with independence can we fully support families and build a fairer, more equal country.”
SCOTTISH ECONOMY LOSES £2.2BN IN TRADE TO EU
Brexit has cost Midlothian and East Lothian the equivalent of £82million as Scottish exports have plummeted since the UK left the EU to the value of £2.2bn.
Figures from HMRC show that exports have dropped 13% in the past two years from £16.7bn to £14.5bn.
The £2.2bn loss is equivalent to Midlothian losing £38million and East Lothian losing £44million.
Commenting, Colin Beattie said:
“Brexit has been an unmitigated disaster for every area of Scotland, including in Midlothian and East Lothian. These latest figures show why it is essential for Scotland to become independent and re-join the European Union.
“Only with independence can we get back on the road towards prosperity as both Labour and the Tories offer no way back to the European Union, just continuing decline under Westminster control.
“Industries in Midlothian, East Lothian and across Scotland are suffering as a result of the disastrous Brexit, the only way Scotland can flourish and realise our full potential is by becoming an independent country in the European Union.”
Colin Beattie MSP has expressed his disappointment over the closure of the McColl’s Store located in Jarnac Court, in the heart of Dalkeith.
Early this year McColl’s faced administration difficulties and were bought over by Morrisons which has now been cleared by the Competition and Markets Authority.
Morrisons plan to convert 1,164 locations into Morrisons Daily stores but have made the decision to close 132 McColl’s stores they do not see viable.
Midlothian North and Musselburgh MSP, Colin Beattie commented:
“I am disappointed at the decision Morrisons have taken to close the McColl’s store in Dalkeith. This store is located in the heart of Dalkeith, and it will be a great loss.
“A real concern is the current employees who may face redundancy. I would encourage Morrisons to work closely with them to avoid this risk and seek alternative locations of employment for the employees.
“Unfortunately, we are living in difficult times with the current cost-of-living crisis creating great uncertainty for business and jobs. Thus, it is important now more than ever jobs are protected, and employees are given the best support throughout this process.
“If any employee impacted by this decision is struggling to receive the correct support, I would encourage them to contact me for assistance at Colin.Beattie.MSP@Parliament.Scot.”