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Brexit: Scotland set to reject EU Withdrawal Bill

17 May, 2018, 01:03 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Brexit: Scotland set to reject EU Withdrawal Bill

"There is a lot at stake with the EU Withdrawal Bill and the devolution aspect of it, and it appears that we are heading towards a situation where the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday will nearly certainly vote down a legislative consent motion on the EU Withdrawal Bill because of the treatment of devolution within it the way it is now constructed".

Mike Russell, the SNP's Brexit Minister, demanded that the UK Government respects the will of the Scottish Parliament but David Mundell, the Scottish Secretary, confirmed it would press ahead with the Bill.

Scottish Government ministers claim the EU Withdrawal Bill, as it now stands, could see Holyrood's powers constrained for up to seven years after the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

He said the plan, which could see some powers kept by the Westminster Parliament for up to seven years, "rides roughshod over devolution".

Holyrood's approval is not legally necessary for the EU Withdrawal Bill to become law because Westminster can disregard its view.

The SNP said it would be "outrageous" for the British government to impose the bill on Scotland.

Overruling Holyrood, the Scottish Parliament, would be politically sensitive - particularly over such a historic move as Brexit - and would set a precedent in a constitutional set-up that's only 20 years old.

Tory MSP Adam Tomkins said: "The Scottish Conservatives will vote to give our consent to the amended Withdrawal Bill today". The decision could spark a constitutional crisis between Scotland and the UK.




The Scottish government produced its own alternative Brexit legislation, which was passed by MSPs in March but is now subject to a legal challenge by the United Kingdom government.

However, Scottish Brexit Minister Michael Russell said it was unclear to him exactly what views the other parties would have.

The prime minister briefed Conservative backbenchers on Monday about the two options her ministers are considering: a customs partnership which see Britain collecting tariffs on behalf of the EU; and a combination of technological and administrative measures created to diminish friction on a UK-EU customs border.

The SNP MP warned Mrs May not to "veto the democratic wishes of the Scottish Parliament" and claimed "the Conservatives are isolated and out of touch with the people of Scotland".

Nicola Sturgeon's government in Edinburgh insists that Holyrood must explicity agree to any changes before they can take effect.

Scottish officials have accused May of a "power grab".

How did the row between the United Kingdom and Scottish governments come about?

Britain as a whole voted in June 2016 to leave the European Union, but Scotland voted to remain.

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