THE SNP has clashed with Rishi Sunak over energy bills, accusing the UK Government of “raiding the pockets of ordinary Scots whilst lining the pockets of Westminster”.

Speaking at PMQs, SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn said that wholesale gas prices have fallen by 75% since their peak – yet energy bills were due to rise by £500 in weeks, with the limit on bills under the energy price guarantee due to rise from April 1.

Flynn said this also would result in a “windfall” to the Prime Minister and Chancellor of around £15 billion.

He went on: “So what they are saying is they intend to raid the pockets of ordinary Scots whilst lining the pockets of Westminster.

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“It is time to set aside any notion of an energy price increase, instead protect households and perhaps reduce bills by £500.”

Sunak responded: “We are saving households across the United Kingdom including in Scotland £900 with their energy bills as a result of our energy bills guarantee.

“In the coming years we will spend £12bn protecting particularly the most vulnerable families and pensioners across the UK.

“But the best way to reduce people’s bills is to halve inflation as we have promised to do and produce more home grown energy in the UK.”

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Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer quizzed Sunak over progress on a deal with the EU on Northern Ireland’s post-Brexit arrangements, with the Prime Minister saying “intensive discussions” were still ongoing.

When asked if MPs would get a vote on any deal – which could risk a showdown with Eurosceptics on the Tory benches - Sunak replied: “Of course Parliament will express its view”.

The protocol, agreed as part of the UK’s Brexit deal, effectively kept Northern Ireland in the EU’s single market for goods, meaning checks on products crossing from Great Britain.

The situation led to the collapse of powersharing in Northern Ireland, with the Democratic Unionist Party protesting about the barrier to trade with the rest of the UK.

With the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement in April, there is symbolic importance in getting a deal which could allow the Stormont administration to be re-established.