Fulton MacGregor MSP for Coatbridge & Chryston has said being under Westminster control is threatening the rights of children in North Lanarkshire and across Scotland and only independence can ensure we protect everyone in Scotland from the Tories.

After a legal challenge by the Westminster Tory Government the UK Supreme Court ruled that the Scottish Parliament could not enshrine the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) into Scots law, a bill that was unanimously passed by the Scottish Parliament. The judgement laid bare the limitations of the devolution settlement in Scotland.

On the same day, the Tories at Westminster cut Universal Credit by £20 a week, taking away from the most vulnerable at a time when they need it most.

Commenting, Mr MacGregor said:

“The SNP Scottish Government introduced the UNCRC Bill to put the needs of children in Coatbridge & Chryston and across Scotland at the very heart of every decision made by Government and local authorities.

“However, those noble intentions have been scuppered by the Westminster Tories challenge. The court judgment lays bare the limits placed on the Scottish Parliament and within the devolution settlement that we cannot introduce vital protections for our young people – leaving them at the mercy of a callous Tory UK government.

“We cannot trust the Tories to protect future generations in Scotland as they cut Universal Credit this week and plunge 20,000 children into poverty.

“Families in North Lanarkshire will face a decision of whether to heat their homes or feed their children as the cost of living skyrockets with energy bills increasing and food bills going up.

“The only way we can ensure we protect the future of Scotland from an uncaring Tory UK government is with the full powers of independence.”

Local Activist, Ryan McShane, who worked on the Bill was also disappointed. He said;

“Today’s ruling by the Supreme Court regarding the UNCRC Bill is deeply regrettable. An important piece of legislation passed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament to later be referred to English law officers by UK Government minister yet again goes to show just how Scotland is continually being mistreated by the UK Government.

“The bill sought to remedy any human rights violations children and young people experience by government and/or public bodies in Scotland as well as other reporting mechanisms around children rights violations and how Scotland can best protect its young people and their rights. It seems that no matter how progressive we are in Scotland, the Tory government takes us backwards meaning we in Scotland have to again mitigate the UK Government’s recklessness.

“In challenge poverty week and the week of the devastating Universal Credit cut, the UNCRC bill implementation delay has angered me even more as I was heavily involved in all stages of it’s introduction and passage. I’m genuinely gutted.”

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