Holyrood powers “must not be diminished”.
The Great Repeal Bill exposes the empty promises of new competences for the Scottish Parliament as a result of Brexit, Michael Russell said today as he warned that Brexit must not see any existing competences or powers removed from the Scottish Parliament.
The Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe said the Great Repeal Bill, published today, risks undermining the devolution settlement.
Mr Russell said:
“It remains deeply disappointing that the UK Government is ploughing ahead with leaving the European Union and ending our 40 year relationship with our nearest neighbours and the world’s largest market.
“This white paper for this Brexit bill leaves many important questions unanswered, such as the nature of the powers for the Scottish Parliament, and the need for the consent of the Scottish Parliament under the Sewel Convention. The UK Government now needs work closely with the Scottish Government on the detail of the bill as it develops.
“There are no new powers proposed for the parliament beyond those required to fix the mess that will be caused by Brexit, exposing what have so far been empty promises from the UK Government.
“In all other areas where powers already belong to the Scottish Parliament the white paper continues to threaten that in areas such as agriculture, fisheries and the environment, powers will be taken by the UK Government after Brexit.
“For the UK government to seek to impose legislative frameworks on these areas would be to take the unprecedented step of extending its powers over Scotland and must not take place. The Scottish Parliament’s competences must not be diminished as a result of Brexit.
“The UK Government continues to assert that the UK is a partnership of four nations. It needs to now prove that it truly believes this by entering into meaningful discussions as the process of withdrawing from the EU gets underway.
“Overall, it appears that the UK Government is set to be consumed by legislating for Brexit at the expense of all other priorities for years to come.”
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