Scottish Parliament poised to reject EU Withdrawal Bill amid devolution row

Scottish Parliament poised to reject EU Withdrawal Bill amid devolution row

Scottish Parliament poised to reject EU Withdrawal Bill amid devolution row

Westminster has been urged to "respect the will" of the Scottish Parliament and make further changes to key Brexit legislation, after MSPs refused to give their consent to the EU Withdrawal Bill.

The Scottish government claims that clause 11 of the Bill, which is making its way through parliament at Westminster, undermines the devolution settlement with Scotland.

The Scottish Parliament on Tuesday formally rejected legislation for taking Britain out of the European Union, in an unprecedented move that sets the scene for a constitutional crisis. But, when campaigner Gina Miller challenged the Government over the triggering of Article 50 in the UK Supreme Court, it concluded this was not a rule which could be enforced by the courts, leaving the UK Government able to pass the EU Withdrawal Bill without the consent of Holyrood.

"I have said time and again it is unacceptable that the legislation gives the UK Government the power to ban the Scottish Parliament from legislating on devolved areas for up to seven years without the Parliament's consent. I just don't see how that can be characterised as a power grab".

Both governments agree that these policies should be implemented universally across the United Kingdom and that the powers should be shared between the regional governments in London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff.

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"There will be different opinions as to whether we should do that now or in five years or ten years' time, but with that body of opinion, a constitutional option like independence is not going to be off the table", she said.

Although Welsh ministers said at the time the offer did not go far enough, following further discussions they reached agreement with the United Kingdom government in April on a different proposal.

Brexit means powers that have been exercised by Brussels returning to the UK.

"The UK Government can not ignore the reality of devolution or try to drown out what this Parliament says".

The Scottish Conservatives voted against, and have blamed the SNP for the failure to find an agreement.

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A source close to the negotiations said: "It's incredible that the Scottish government are now giving the impression that there was never any prospect of them signing up to a deal of this sort and that it's a constitutional outrage".

Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie said MSPs needed to stand against Theresa May and Ruth Davidson's "devolution demolition squad".

Imposing powers on Scotland would be unprecedented and fuel Sturgeon's demands for a second independence referendum, potentially providing the Scottish National party with a further justification for staging one.

Labour MSPs joined the SNP and the Greens in opposing the bill. However even if Holyrood votes to refuse consent, Westminster can still go ahead and introduce the legislation anyway.

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