BREAKING BRITANNIA NEWS
The European flag is to continue flying outside the Scottish Parliament after MSPs voted to keep up it.
Holyrood’s management group had planned to reduce the flag the moment the UK leaves the EU, on Friday at 23:00.
She said ministers didn’t take the possibility of”directing” the parliamentary authorities lightly, and said”it shouldn’t occur regularly” – but said”I don’t believe their decision reflects the views of parliament as a whole, and nor do I feel that the conclusion could be non-political”.
However MSPs voted to overturn this decision after the Scottish authorities.
The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB) – a management group made up of an MSP from each of Holyrood’s parties – had made the decision to remove the flag after Brexit, but to fly it annually on Europe Day.
But Tory Liz Smith said it was”crucial there’s full confidence and confidence” from the”impartial” function of the SPCB, warning that members should be”well aware of the dangers” of”undermining” the group.
Picture caption Fiona Hyslop said the decision was not taken by ministers lightly
And Lib Dem Liam McArthur said Holyrood’s flags were”a statement of legal fact, not political desire”, adding that”we have a responsibility as MSPs to protect the neutrality of this institution”.
Labour’s Daniel Johnson said the corporate body had been set up to be”beyond party politics” so that”the parliament should not be within the control of the government”, and that this principle could be”undermined” by the vote.
The Conservatives, Labour and the Lib Dems argued that the”non-political” decision of the Parliamentary Corporate Body ought to be respected, but SNP and Green MSPs united to”direct” the group to keep up the flag.
Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh warned ministers not to politicise the issue, stating the flags flown at Holyrood”reflect our relationships in law”.
This has been discredited with all the group pledging to abide by the vote’s result, after a short but heated debate in the chamber.
Green MSP Ross Greer echoed there, saying there was”no way to make the binary choice between keeping the European flag up and down it without that choice being political”.
Leading for the government, External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop said MSPs should”stand firm in solidarity with all the EU citizens who reside in Scotland” and keep the flag flying”as a practical demonstration of our sorrow” about Brexit.