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24/09/17 00:01

Clarity on Brexit Bill vital

Ministers to meet UK counterparts.

The UK Government must ‘urgently stop any power grab’ over policy areas exercised at EU level through the draft Withdrawal Bill, Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe, Michael Russell has warned.

Speaking ahead of a meeting with UK First Secretary of State Damian Green on the issue of the repatriation of powers following Brexit on Monday (25th) - which will also be attended by Deputy First Minister John Swinney and Scottish Secretary David Mundell – Mr Russell said:

“Earlier this week, the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales placed on record their disappointment with the current Withdrawal Bill and the reasons why it cannot be recommended to the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly. As the bill stands it does not respect devolved policy areas and the UK Government must urgently put a stop to this power grab.

“This meeting provides a fresh opportunity to set out the fundamental flaws in the bill and to encourage the UK Ministers to take on board our amendments. This situation is easy to resolve and our amendments would, if adopted, enable the bill to go forward for the consent of the Scottish Parliament.

“If the UK Government agrees to consider these amendments carefully and stops this attack on devolution, then I have no doubt we can work together to reach a sensible consensus between all governments

“The UK Government has taken a step forward in its negotiations with Brussels so it is now time for them to fully recognise the principle of devolved powers and take a step forward in their relations with the Scottish Government.”