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Withdrawal Bill decision "dark day for devolution" – Russell

Published: 12 Jun 2018 19:43

Minister says outcome shows contempt for democracy

Responding to the failure of the UK Government to amend the EU Withdrawal Bill and respect the vote of the Scottish Parliament to refuse consent, Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe Michael Russell said:

“For almost 20 years, decisions made by the Scottish Parliament on issues affecting devolution have been final. Today, the UK Government tore up the constitutional rule-book and imposed its will in the face of an overwhelming vote in the Scottish Parliament.

“The fact that they rail-roaded this measure through with no time for speeches from anyone other than the UK Government Minister shows utter contempt for Scottish democracy. This is a dark day for devolution.

“Forcing through a law that could freeze the powers of the Parliament for up to seven years without its consent, means our hands will be tied in relation to farming, fishing, the environment, food standards and a host of other devolved area.

“The UK Government today had a duty to amend the bill to respect the will of the Scottish Parliament. They failed to do so.  Further Brexit bills will also require the consent of the Scottish Parliament – and yet the UK Government has decided to use this moment to tear up the rules that have until now protected devolution. We will reflect on this situation carefully as we consider next steps.”