Scottish lawmakers reject Brexit bill in headache for May

17 May, 2018, 07:08 | Author: Angel Logan
  • An anti Brexit protester waves EU and Union flags and holds up a placard opposite the Houses of Parliament on a sunny day in London

Political commentators said although the vote is not binding on May's government, it presents the British prime minister with the dilemma of either imposing a power-sharing plan on Holyrood or attempting to avert a crisis by putting forward concessions.

Announcing the event, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "It is important people have a say in decisions affecting them, and the Rural Parliament is an important part of that process, allowing rural communities from across Scotland to discuss and agree priority areas for development and local democracy".

Mrs May said her government was "disappointed that the Scottish Parliament has not granted its consent" and insisted it was still "working hard to find a way through".

Scotland voted on independence in 2014, before Brexit.

SNP, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green MSPs are all expected to vote against backing the EU Withdrawal Bill, with only the Conservatives set to offer their support.

PA Wire/PA Images First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during a Scottish Government debate on legislative consent to the European Union withdrawal bill at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

Scottish secretary David Mundell said that, although Tuesday's refusal of consent for a Westminster Bill was unprecedented, the 1998 devolution legislation envisaged such a situation.

The UK government has the authority to simply impose the Brexit legislation on Scotland, "even if that is politically problematic [as] it would overturn 20 years of constitutional convention and precedent", she added.

"I think it is right that we go ahead with measures that not only respect devolution, but ensure we maintain the integrity of our common market". "It becomes a bigger issue at the point when the bill is completing its passage through Westminster".

The Scottish Parliament passed its own version of Brexit legislation, called the Continuity Bill, in March by a margin of 95-32 to ensure it retains control of areas that are now devolved after Britain formally leaves the EU.

Lidington has set out details of 24 areas he said would need to come under Westminster control immediately after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union to avoid short-term confusion in areas such as food hygiene, chemicals and animal welfare, which the Scottish Government says is unacceptable.

Nicola Sturgeon has suggested the Scottish Parliament vote could be "overturned" if a deal is reached.

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