WOULD you think that a parliamentary debate about constitutional legislation would be intelligent, well informed and productive? 

Well think again. If you doubt me, I’d suggest you tune into the Scottish Parliament’s cover of the SNP’ EU continuity bill (or the ‘Wrecking Bill’) that is being forced through parliament as emergency legislation, leaving MSPs little time to debate the bill.

The situation has gotten so bad that we’re being made to vote first before offering scrutiny at a later stage.

This week, MSPs will be voting on over 200 amendments in just a single committee session-in just four hours. This bill is questionable in terms of its competence and the Scottish Parliament’s legal ability to pass it. The parliament’s chief executive, the Presiding Officer, has said it is not within MSPs’ power to pass it yet the SNP are ploughing through nonetheless.

I do not believe that this approach is acceptable, it’s sensitive legislation that could have far reaching consequences for the future of the parliament and across the whole of Scotland. These laws take months to review to get right, the SNP are offering just nine hours. This is a worrying approach to Scottish democracy that could have unforeseen effects for years to come.

In my efforts to fix the bill I have lodged 23 amendments and will be debating those this week in Holyrood.

The worry amongst MSPs is clear — this bill is being used as a dry run to force through an independence referendum without the approval of the rest of the UK. Unlike last time, when the Scottish and UK governments agreed a legal and binding framework, such a vote would be legally questionable.

I’m disappointed that the SNP have decided to take this approach. It undermines The Scottish Parliament, the devolution settlement and the union.

At a time when we should be debating important legislation and tackling the issues that matter to Scots across the country, the SNP are squandering time by — once again — ignoring important issues to focus on independence. Scotland faces many challenges, but we won’t overcome those by ducking the issue and ignoring the problem.

So I have urged my SNP colleagues to take a stand and oppose this legislation going through the Scottish Parliament and I will fight this bill all the way.

Holyrood cannot spend another year debating independence, that argument has been decided and it is time that Scotland was given an opportunity to move on.