Scottish Parliament refuses consent for Retained EU Law Bill

Constitution Secretary said Bill threatens vital laws.

The UK Government should withdraw the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill after MSPs voted to withhold the consent of the Scottish Parliament, according to the Constitution Secretary Angus Robertson.

Speaking during a debate in the Scottish Parliament, Mr Robertson said the Bill, which is currently in the House of Lords, threatens vital regulations in the environment, food standards and employment sectors and must now be withdrawn.

With MSPs refusing to provide legislative consent, Mr Robertson said the reaction of UK Ministers would be a key test of whether or not it plans to continue to ignore or override the views of the Scottish Parliament.

If the Bill is not withdrawn, the Scottish Government has published updated amendments to lessen the impact of the Bill.

Constitution Secretary Angus Robertson said:

“The Scottish Government and a number of key organisations across a range of sectors have many concerns about the Bill and we have repeatedly called on the UK Government to withdraw it.

“Firstly, it risks deregulation and threatens the high standards the people of Scotland experienced and benefited from as an EU member state for over 47 years. Secondly, the Bill includes powers for UK Ministers to act in areas of devolved responsibility without the consent of Scottish Ministers or this Parliament. This is clearly unacceptable and how the UK Government reacts will be a key test of whether or not they intend to continue to ride roughshod over devolution. Thirdly, the Bill includes a ‘cliff-edge’ sunset provision, which could see thousands of laws wiped overnight.

“I am pleased colleagues across the Scottish Parliament have voted to withhold consent for the Bill and I urge the UK Government to scrap it entirely. If the UK Government are intent on a race to the bottom that will impact standards across the UK, we have published a series of updated amendments to the Bill to mitigate the worst of its impacts.”


The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill seeks to revoke thousands of pieces of EU legislation that were included in the UK statute book at the end of the Brexit transition period. Scottish Ministers have repeatedly highlighted their concerns that the Bill puts standards at risk, including regulations protecting rights for pregnant women at work, environmental standards and requirements to label food for allergens.

Read the letter to the UK Government with updated amendments

Retained EU Law Bill should be ‘withdrawn completely’


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