Scottish Government Will Refuse Consent for Brexit Bill

The Scottish Government may refuse to consent to the EU withdrawal bill, calling it a 'power grab'.

Micheal Russel the Scottish Brexit leader said that the Scottish government will not consent to a Brexit deal unless the bill is significantly changed to protect devolution. 

Some of the devolved powers that look set to be recentralised in the current iteration of the bill are fisheries and agriculture. Both Scotland and Wales have demanded additional changes to counter what they see as a 'power grab'. 

“I have and will continue to press for the amendments suggested by ourselves and the Welsh government to be accepted, removing the power-grab and providing a clear solution that respects devolution,” said Russell.

If the bill is passed without consent from Scotland and Wales, it risks constitutional crisis for the UK. 

First minister for Wales Carwyn Jones said “We do not accept the bill in its current form and have recommended that the assembly does not grant its consent unless changes are made”.

Damien Green, the first secretary of state had a more cheerful outlook on the meeting, saying that “talk of a power-grab is now behind us”.

The UK government is understood to believe that EU powers initially need to be returned to Westminster while a common framework for trade is introduced for the UK internal single market, to prevent different devolved nations establishing competing trade barriers.

Green added:

“We’ve agreed that obviously there need to be ways in which we preserve the UK single market so we don’t damage businesses in Scotland or Wales or Northern Ireland”  

The government will “respect the devolution settlements and the democratic accountability of the devolved legislatures”.

The UK government says the repatriation of EU powers into British law will “lead to a significant increase in decision-making powers for the devolved administrations”, and the competence of the devolved governments will not “normally” be adjusted without their consent.

Source: Guardian Uk

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