THE SNP have called for Alister Jack to be sacked after claiming that the Scottish Secretary “blatantly misled” the Westminster Parliament.

The claim itself relates to efforts from the Scottish Government to implement the Deposit Return Scheme.

On February 22, Jack told the Commons: “We have not been asked for an exemption for this under the rules of the UK Internal Market Act 2020 (UKIM) by the Scottish Government – no request for an exemption has come

“The exemption bar is very high indeed, otherwise what is the point of the UKIM?”

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Under the post-Brexit act, goods that have been produced in, or imported into, one part of the UK and comply with relevant requirements there, can then be sold in any other area without adhering to different regulatory standards.

That means the DRS will require an opt-out as producers from the rest of the UK would be able to sell their products without having to add 20p to the cost.

The SNP say that documents released by the Scottish Government disprove Jack’s claim and that initial discussions about the need for an exclusion go as far back as 2021.

The party added that John Swinney wrote to the UK Government to signal his alarm at the lack of progress on the issue.

SNP MSP Fiona Hyslop said that Rishi Sunak now had “no option” but to sack Jack.

“Contrary to his claim in the House of Commons that no exemption has been sought for the DRS, documents released by the Scottish Government yesterday showed that initial discussions began in 2021, were stepped up in 2022 – and in January, the Deputy First Minister was forced to write to the UK Government expressing his alarm at the lack of progress”, she said.

Hyslop continued: “The DRS is a key environmental measure that will make a step change in helping to keep Scotland beautiful and meet our climate change targets. It is a policy that clearly falls within devolved competence and has been backed overwhelmingly by MSPs.

“As the supposed representative of Scotland in the UK Government, Alister Jack should be going out of his way to enable the smooth running of devolution, but instead he seems to be doing everything he can to sabotage it – and is now telling blatant untruths to cover his lack of action.”

The scheme is set to go live on August 16 although SNP leadership candidates Kate Forbes and Ash Regan have said they would delay it should they replace Nicola Sturgeon.

Humza Yousaf meanwhile said he would “exclude small businesses” during the scheme’s first year in operation.

READ MORE: Deposit Return Scheme: What is it and when will it begin?

Hyslop added: There is no justification for the UK Government blocking this policy, which is why Alister Jack has had to resort to making things up.

“When he took office, the Prime Minister pledged that he would lead a government with ‘integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level’ – if he does not sack Alister Jack, he will be failing on all three counts.” 

In response to the claims, Jack said: "No UK Government ministers have received a formal request setting out the scope and rationale for a UKIM exemption for the Scottish Government's deposit return scheme.

"Should such a request be received, it will be considered by the relevant Whitehall departments. As I have set out previously, the bar for a UKIM exemption is very high."

Elsewhere, the Scottish Greens echoed the calls made by the SNP as they praised businesses for signing up to the DRS “in their droves” ahead of its official launch.

They said this is despite a “dangerously cynical campaign” to undermine the Scottish Government.

The party’s environment spokesperson Mark Ruskell said: “Alister Jack has clearly and shamefully misled the UK Parliament into thinking the Scottish Government had not sought an exemption from the Internal Market Act by telling falsehoods when nothing could be further from the truth.”

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They said there is a “trail of evidence” and questioned why Jack “barked” into “every available microphone” that the Scottish Government had not applied for an exemption.

“Alister Jack has sought to abuse his office to try and block the will of the Scottish people and to undermine the very principles of devolution. He must be told to resign or be sacked”, Ruskell added.

“DRS will go down in history as one of the most important pieces of work ever done by this parliament, and all those who have spoken against it will be judged by the people of Scotland as its importance and positive impacts become clear.”   

The UK Government was approached for comment.