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    A member of public flies a giant Scottish Saltire flag outside the Houses of Parliament shortly before Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon posed with newly-elected Scottish National Party (SNP) MPs during a photocall in London on May 11, 2015

    SNP Lawmaker Says UK Government May Push Scotland Toward Independence

    © AFP 2018 / ADRIAN DENNIS
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    Amid ongoing battles in parliament over a Brexit plan, the leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) Westminster parliamentary group, Ian Blackford, has warned British lawmakers that the government’s disregard of Edinburgh’s wishes after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU is boosting pro-secession sentiments in Scotland.

    Speaking in front of lawmakers in the parliament, Blackford claimed that Theresa May’s government’s neglect of Scotland’s wishes over power-sharing after the UK leaves the European Union has boosted the SNP’s membership.

    READ MORE: 'Scotland Will Not Be Disrespected': WATCH SNP MPs Stage Mass Parliament Walkout

    He also cited an increase of more than 7,000 members in his party in recent days as a sign of mounting discontent in Scotland and a game changer for Edinburgh’s independence.

    “Be careful. We only have to look at the increased membership of the SNP (in recent days), people who have not supported the SNP previously and have not supported Scottish independence and they are simply appalled that there is an attack on the Scottish parliament and devolution,” Blackford told the lawmakers during an emergency debate.

    Last week, the pro-independence campaigner was thrown out of the House of Commons by the Speaker, John Bercow, for repeatedly refusing to sit down. His fellow SNP members walked out en masse in solidarity over the lack of time provided to discuss Scotland’s part in Brexit.

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    The government’s plan to retain control of a number of key policy areas, such as fishery, food labeling and agriculture, once the UK leaves the European Union and regains powers from Brussels is at the heart of the standoff in the parliament.

    Last Tuesday, British lawmakers voted to push through the EU Withdrawal Bill, which is said to temporarily restrict the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish assemblies’ powers in order to allow rules and regulations to remain in place across the United Kingdom once it leaves the EU.

    Meanwhile, Scotland’s devolved parliament, Holyrood, has refused to consent to the legislation, citing a “power grab” and claiming that it remains unclear when those powers will be given back, purportedly tying its hands for years. 

    Related:

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    UK’s Political Divide Deepens as SNP, Labour Oppose Brexit
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    Brexit, Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP), SNP, EU, Scotland, United Kingdom
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