IN April, the UK Government released a report praising the “meaningful and sustained” work it had been doing with the devolved administrations. However, no one in London thought to ask those devolved administrations for their views.

Embarrassingly for the Tories, the Scottish and Welsh governments both refuted the optimistic conclusions of the report on joint co-operation.

Constitution Secretary Angus Robertson told The National at the time: “Too often our experience is one of being told decisions which affect Scotland are being taken without any meaningful consultation taking place beforehand.”

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So was Liz Truss saying she would simply “ignore” Nicola Sturgeon a reflection of a long-standing policy? Here, the Sunday National looks at some examples.

Brexit and trade deals

SCOTLAND voted to remain in the EU, but was dragged out after being outweighed by English and Welsh votes. Northern Ireland, which also voted Remain, was given a seat at the negotiating table by the UK Government.

However, the Tories struck the Brexit deal with the EU without any input from Edinburgh, even on matters “which are either devolved or where there is a specific Scottish interest”, former Brexit secretary Michael Russell told Parliament in 2020.

This pattern continued into post-Brexit trade deals, with the UK Government leaving their Scottish counterparts out of all negotiations – and even letting them read the details of the Australia trade deal in the media.

Visa proposals

BEFORE Brexit came into effect, the SNP government compiled a 94-page proposal for a distinct Scottish visa system to help address the country’s migration needs after it had left the EU.

Pilot schemes involved giving people visas which would only allow them to be domiciled in Scotland, with special dispensation for rural areas suffering population decline.

However, the Home Office dismissed the ideas within hours – and refused to say whether anyone had even read them first.

Drugs deaths

SCOTLAND has seen devastatingly high numbers of drugs deaths since the steep upward trend began around 2013.

In 2019, Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee released a report detailing a series of recommendations to help tackle the crisis – including treating it as a health rather than criminal issue. Ten months later, Tory ministers dismissed every one of the recommendations.

In 2021, Boris Johnson’s Tory government rejected outright SNP calls to allow for health-based policy trials of safe consumption spaces, instead opting to take a “tough approach”.

Universal Credit cuts

DURING the height of the pandemic, then chancellor Rishi Sunak introduced a £20-a-week “uplift” to Universal Credit.

In late 2021, with Covid still prevalent, the Tories cut Universal Credit back to its pre-pandemic levels. This came despite repeated entreaties from the devolved nations – not only Scotland – to keep the £1040-a-year uplift in place.

Days ahead of the cuts, the leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland made a final plea, sending a joint letter “to say to the Prime Minister: ‘Do not do this’”.

The cuts directly impacted on more than five million people, with charities estimating that they pushed 500,000 people – around half of whom were children – into poverty.

Cost of living crisis

MORE recently, the devolved nations have again united to call on the Tory Chancellor – now Nadhim Zahawi (below) – to do more to address the cost of living crisis.

The National: Chancellor of the Exchequer Nadhim Zahawi speaking at the Financial and Professional Services Dinner at Mansion House in the City of London. Picture date: Tuesday July 19, 2022..

The three finance ministers called for targeted support for those most in need, rather than introducing broad cuts to taxes – such as National Insurance – which the worst off in society may not even be paying.

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Following similar calls in January, these most recent – made in July a matter of days after Boris Johnson’s resignation as Tory leader – do not seem to have yet even warranted a reply.

Transmission charges

IN the north of Scotland, it costs £7.36 per megawatt-hour (MWh) for an energy company to connect to the grid. In the south of Scotland transmission area, it’s £4.70 per MWh.

The same action in England and Wales – and even some places outwith the UK – costs £0.49, and in southern England generators are paid to connect to the grid.

Scottish politicians have been pushing for years for these “rip-off charges” to be addressed, with a report compiled by MPs in 2021 concluding that they are a “barrier to renewable energy development”.

The Tory government has done nothing to address these concerns, and the two candidates to enter No 10 – Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak – did not reply when asked for their policy on the transmission charges.