Scottish parliament refuses consent for Britain's European Union withdrawal bill

Scottish independence is never off the table Sturgeon says

In the case of the EU Withdrawal Bill the UK Government has been clear it will not remove clause 11 from the legislation, despite protestations from Scottish ministers that measures in this will constrain Holyrood's powers for up to seven years.

The Westminster government has offered concessions to devolved administrations and May's Conservative party points out that these have been enough for the Welsh government to drop their reservations about the bill.

Scottish ministers contend that the devolved parliaments should have to give express consent for changes to these frameworks, while the United Kingdom side argues that this would effectively give MSPs the power of veto over frameworks extending right across the country.

Scotland's parliament doesn't have the authority to block the legislation, but an attempt to push it through without Scottish consent could prompt a constitutional crisis.

The British government will press ahead with the EU Withdrawal Bill despite the Scottish parliament's decision to withhold its consent for the legislation.

Bruce Crawford, the head of the Parliament's Finance and Constitution Committee, said the vote was a "historic and significant" moment for Scotland and that he hoped the government in London would "respect the views" of the assembly.

With the European Union withdrawal bill due for its final vote in the Commons within weeks, May is running out of time to reach a deal before it becomes law.


"If they now move to force on this parliament an arrangement for restricting devolution that does not have parliament's consent they will do so in the full knowledge that they are breaking the twenty year old devolution settlement and operating out with the agreed constitution".

The problem is that clause 15 of that bill automatically transfers those new powers to Whitehall.

Scotland voted on independence in 2014, before Brexit.

The SNP said it would be "outrageous" for the British government to impose the bill on Scotland.

SNP, Labour, Green and Liberal Democrat MSPs voted against the EU Withdrawal bill, while Scottish Conservatives argued the Bill protects Scotland's devolved powers.

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard, who has been calling for cross party talks to resolve the dispute, said: 'This means that the vote on consent for the Withdrawal Bill at Holyrood today need not be the final word on this matter. It's not in Scotland's interests that the SNP prefers picking fights to making a deal'.

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