United Kingdom and Scottish governments set for Brexit devolution talks

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 9, 2017

The Scottish Government has previously threatened to block the Great Repeal Bill amid claims United Kingdom ministers are mounting a "power grab' on Holyrood".

Deputy First Minister John Swinney and Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland's Place in Europe Michael Russell will told UK ministers to "abandon their attempted power grab".

Scottish ministers are set to press London to grant Scotland powers that are returned from the European Union after Brexit.

Mr Russell said that, in its current form, the bill would give Westminster "exclusive control over significant areas of devolved policy", including farming, the environment and fishing.

We are not opposed in principle to UK-wide frameworks in certain areas - but this must be on the basis of agreement among equals, not imposed by Westminster.

They met First Secretary of State Damian Green and Scottish Secretary David Mundell in Edinburgh.

The UK Government says it expects Brussels powers relating to devolved competences to flow to Holyrood.

Calling for open and positive dialogue, Green said: "In some areas there will need to be a common approach".

As a result, the Scottish government will be under intense legal and political pressure to ensure all Scotland's separate laws and policies are updated before the United Kingdom leaves the EU. "That is a direct threat to the devolution settlement which the people of Scotland overwhelmingly voted for in 1997", Mr Russell said.

Russell added that Holyrood is not opposed in principle to United Kingdom -wide frameworks in certain areas, but that must be "on the basis of agreement among equals, not imposed by Westminster".

In a statement issued before the meeting, Russell renewed the Scottish government's ultimatum to withhold legislative consent for that bill unless United Kingdom ministers gave ground.

Ahead of the meeting, the first secretary said that the government expects there will be "significant increase in the decision-making power of each devolved administration". "There will be other areas where I intend that the Scottish and United Kingdom governments can make progress in identifying policy areas that could be released to Holyrood under the new legislative arrangements".

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