Since becoming Deputy Convener of the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations committee I have already held a number of meetings on Brexit.
Brexit is the biggest political issue in British politics and it will continue to dominate the political discourse in the years ahead. As we move towards trying to achieve a deal it is vital that we listen to as many people as possible and ensure that Scotland’s voice is being heard in the debate.
That is why I was pleased to be able to go to London, Belfast and Dublin last month to ensure that the views and voices of the Scottish Parliament and my constituents were heard. We need to work hard to ensure that any deal does not hurt our economy, workers and jobs.
I met with experts on border issues and Brexit related issues in Belfast before meeting with the British and Irish Chambers of Commerce in Dublin. I also met with the Director General of the Irish Foreign Ministry and members from the House of the Oireachtas (Ireland’s lower and upper houses of Parliament).
I also travelled to Westminster to meet with members of the UK Government, members of Brexit-related committees at the House of Lords and members from the National Assembly for Wales.
Amongst issues raised was the concern over Clause 11 of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill and the need for it to be replaced or removed as the bill makes its way through the House of Lords.
The Bill, as it stands, raises concerns over its compatibility with the devolution settlement that delivered the Scottish Parliament. Failure to amend the bill could lead to the Scottish Parliament failing to back a Legislative Consent Motion allowing Brexit to go ahead.
The UK Government must listen over Clause 11 of the EU (Withdrawal Bill). We cannot let this process undermine the Scottish Parliament or the devolution settlement we fought so hard to get.