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17/05/18 09:57

Respecting Parliament’s view on EU Withdrawal Bill

Minister urges UK Government to come to Scotland to hear concerns.

Michael Russell, Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe, has called on the UK Government to listen to concerns from across the Scottish Parliament and respond positively by amending the EU withdrawal Bill to protect devolution.   

The Scottish Government has put forward two proposals to ensure the bill respects devolution – remove the legislative constraint on the Parliament and proceed on the basis of mutual trust, or amend the bill so the Parliament’s consent is required before any orders restricting its powers are made. It is now incumbent on the UK Government to amend the bill in line with the principles of devolution.

Mr Russell said:

“The Scottish Parliament made it explicitly clear that the current EU Withdrawal Bill as it stands is not acceptable. It must now not be imposed.

“In accordance with the motion agreed in the vote, I call on the UK Government to come to Scotland and hear the concerns from across the Parliament, and to amend the bill.

“The Scottish Government and Parliament have already set out a clear way forward – either remove the legislative constraint and proceed on the basis of mutual trust, or amend the bill so the Parliament’s consent is required before any orders are made.  The ball is in the UK Government’s court.

“The UK Government are asking the Scottish Parliament to trust that they will not take powers without our consent, yet if they fail to amend this bill after Parliament has refused consent they will have demonstrated exactly why the current proposals cannot be approved.

“The clock is ticking and we need urgent action that respects the position of the Scottish Parliament and the devolution settlement the people of Scotland voted for.”