Scottish parliament refuses consent for Britain's EU withdrawal bill

Scottish parliament refuses consent for Britain's EU withdrawal bill

The Scottish parliament voted on Tuesday to refuse consent to Britain's flagship Brexit legislation, increasing constitutional uncertainty over how the exit from the European Union will proceed.

The SNP said after the vote that the Conservative government at Westminster should make changes to the EU Withdrawal Bill to address the concerns of the Scottish parliament.

Among its provisions, the EU Withdrawal Bill...

The Scottish Parliament's refusal to back the bill through a legislative consent motion will not legally prevent ministers from pressing ahead, and the lack of an agreement in Scotland comes after a deal was reached between Westminster and the Welsh Government last month.

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.

- How can it be the case that Westminster can introduce legislation against the will of the Scottish Parliament?

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"The UK government can not ignore the reality of devolution or try to drown out what this parliament says", he said. "I still think we can resolve this issue and that remains my objective", he said. "I just don't see how that can be characterised as a power grab".

Plaid AM Adam Price said: "We are joining a very select club of national Parliaments, if we pass this motion today, that have voluntarily made a decision to cede their own authority".

"The Scottish Parliament has spoken loudly and clearly - it's now up to the United Kingdom government to respect that vote and ditch their power grab".

But the SNP argues that in its current state, the bill could mean that the powers of the Scottish parliament could be changed by the British government without the consent of the parliament for the first time ever. 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. "But this is about protecting devolution which the people of Scotland voted for overwhelmingly, and there is no mandate to undermine that".

Its Labour chair David Rees AM said: "We remain particularly concerned that the assembly's ability to pass laws in devolved policy areas such agriculture could be constrained by the UK Parliament, even in circumstances where the assembly has refused consent for such constraints to be imposed".

European Union negotiators have rejected both options and Conservative Brexiteers have criticised the prime minister's favoured option of a customs partnership as unworkable and inconsistent with regaining full sovereignty from Brussels.

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