Holyrood refuses consent for Brexit bill

Image caption Brexit Secretary Mike Russell told MSPs that the UK government’s proposal was “unprecedented, unequal plus unacceptable”

The Scottish Parliament offers refused to give its consent towards the UK’s main piece of Brexit laws.

The Scottish plus UK governments are at odds on the EU Withdrawal Bill and what it might mean for devolved powers.

Labour, Green and Lib Dem MSPs united to back again SNP members in rejecting the particular Westminster bill, saying it would limit Holyrood’s powers.

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

MSPs voted by 93 to thirty that Holyrood “does not permission to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill”.

Westminster ultimately has the power in order to introduce the legislation without the permission of Holyrood – but it will be politically difficult, and has never already been done before.

Speaking after the vote, Scotland’s Brexit secretary, Mike Russell, advised the UK government to respect the particular will of the Scottish Parliament in order to find an acceptable solution.

He or she said: “The Scottish Parliament has said overwhelmingly that this attempt to weaken devolution is unacceptable.

“The UK government cannot disregard the reality of devolution or attempt to drown out what this parliament says. They cannot pretend that simply no motion has been passed. ”

Both the Scottish and UNITED KINGDOM governments insist that the door continues to be open to finding a deal, although each sides also admit they stay some distance apart.

Scottish Conservative constitution spokesman Adam Tomkins said that the UK government acquired already made “radical” changes towards the bill which had resulted in the particular Labour government in Wales dropping the opposition to it .

And he said it was “profoundly regrettable” that a deal had not been done among Scottish and UK ministers, saying “the only government that has not compromised is the Scottish government”.


Evaluation by Sarah Smith, Scotland publisher

Picture caption Nicola Sturgeon informed BBC Scotland ahead of the vote that will she still hopes a offer can be reached with the UK authorities

The particular Scottish government insists this is a extremely significant moment, as it is the first time the particular Holyrood parliament has ever declined consent to a piece of Westminster laws which is likely to be imposed anyway, with out consent.

It is certainly the constitutional first – but one which can be overcome by Westminster.

The UK government has got the authority to simply impose the Brexit legislation on Scotland, even if which is politically problematic. It would overturn two decades of constitutional convention and preceding.

This prime ressortchef (umgangssprachlich) has ignored the will from the Scottish Parliament before. This time this past year it voted in favour of a second indyref and the PM said no . There was no noticeable uprising associated with popular outrage then. And there is certainly unlikely to be so now.

Nicola Sturgeon rarely shies away from a fight with Westminster. That it is generally good politics for her to express she is “standing up for Scotland” towards ministers in London. She hopes it will help build the case for why Scotland would be better off as an independent nation.

Her is actually that this argument has not caught voters’ attention. The right of the Scottish Parliament to have a definitive say over rules governing the use of pesticides does not seem to cause great concern to Scottish.

Some might be outraged over the principle of laws being imposed on Scotland right after it has been specifically rejected by their MSPs.

The useful consequences may not amount to much. However it is one more headache for Theresa May in the migraine-inducing process of aiming to secure a Brexit deal.

Learning much more from Sarah


What is the “power grab” row about?

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Months associated with talks between the two governments possess failed to reach an agreement

The UK government offers published proposals that would see the “vast majority” of the 158 areas where plan in devolved areas is currently chose in Brussels go directly to the particular Scottish and Welsh parliaments right after Brexit.

But it has additionally named 24 areas where it would like to retain power temporarily in the wake up of Britain’s exit from the EUROPEAN, including in areas such as farming, fisheries, food labelling and general public procurement.

It states the “temporary restriction” on the devolved governments using some of the powers coming back from the EU is needed “to assist ensure an orderly departure through EU law” and allow the same principle and regulations to remain in place throughout the whole of the UK.

But the Scottish government argues it would leave Holyrood unable to move laws in some devolved areas for about seven years.

It offers produced its own alternative Brexit laws, which was passed by MSPs within March but is currently subject to the best challenge by the UK government.

Image copyright Getty Pictures
Image caption The consent vote at Holyrood is the latest step in the long-running powers row between the Scottish plus UK governments

During the debate, Mr Russell told MSPs that they needed to protect the progress which has been made in the particular 20 years of devolution in Scotland.

He said: “It is our job to ensure that it is far from cast aside because of a Brexit which Scotland did not vote for and which could only be damaging to our nation.

“Today the challenge associated with Brexit – or rather the task of the proposed power grab by UK government under the guise associated with delivering Brexit – puts the devolved settlement at risk. ”

Mr Russell also informed MSPs that the Withdrawal Bill might add an “unprecedented, unequal plus unacceptable new legislative constraint”, consuming powers away from Holyrood for up to 7 years.

And he stated that the consent vote “will not have to get the end of this process”, as it does apply only to the bill “as this stands”.

Exactly what has the UK government said in answer?

The UK government’s Scottish secretary, David Mundell, said he or she was “disappointed” by the vote, yet said the UK parliament remains sovereign and can proceed regardless.

But he said he continued to be hopeful that an agreement could be reached between the two governments.

Mr Mundell stated: “It’s something that was envisaged with the devolution settlement, that there might be situations where consent wouldn’t be given.

“That circumstance would certainly permit the Westminster government to move forward with legislation on that time frame, and that’s what we intend to do since the bill is already in the system.

“Obviously there’ll be the chance for debate and discussion in parliament, but also I hope between the two government authorities. I still think we can solve this issue, and that remains my goal. ”

Do you know the other parties saying?

A Scottish Labour variation calling for ” cross-party talks in an attempt to broker an agreed method forward” was accepted, and Mister Russell said he would invite UNITED KINGDOM ministers to “hear the worries of all parties” and to discuss “any new ideas”.

The particular party’s Brexit spokesman, Neil Findlay, blamed the Conservatives and their own “shambolic handling” of Brexit for your failure to reach an agreement.

Scottish Greens co-convener Tanker Harvie hailed the “unity” shown by SNP, Labour, Green plus Lib Dem members saying they might “stand together in defence from the parliament”.

Lib Deinem Europe spokesman Tavish Scott stated the negotiating governments had did not learn from the “ongoing farce” associated with Brexit, arguing that leaving the particular EU was “bad for the UNITED KINGDOM and bad for Scotland”.