Published: Thu, May 17, 2018

Scotland rejects European Union withdrawal bill

Scotland rejects European Union withdrawal bill

Refusing to give its consent to a piece of Whitehall legislation will "certainly be a first" for the Scottish Parliament, says the BBC's Scotland editor Sarah Smith, "but one that can be overcome by Westminster".

She can either choose to disregard the vote and assert London's power over the Edinburgh government, or she can make further concessions to Scotland. "It's about a technical process of agreeing things that we've already agreed, and that's why I find it nearly incomprehensible that we've got into this debate around what's really a very, very technical issue".

Although the vote has no direct consequences and is rather symbolic, since the Scottish parliament does not have a veto right, it can create difficulties for the British government. But Westminster has identified 24 areas, including agriculture, fisheries and public procurement, where it wants to temporarily retain powers to ensure an orderly withdrawal from the EU. Ministers in both governments are discussing a fresh round of talks. Yesterday, assembly members in Cardiff voted to give their consent.

He added: "It's obvious that the Greens will, as always, back the SNP today". "But this is about protecting devolution which the people of Scotland voted for overwhelmingly, and there is no mandate to undermine that".

She said: "The dual themes of action and influencing around Brexit will foster a dynamic event that will help define the future of rural Scotland as the United Kingdom approaches Brexit and in the years that follow".

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard, who has been calling for cross party talks to resolve the dispute, said: "This means that the vote on consent for the Withdrawal Bill at Holyrood today need not be the final word on this matter - there is still time to fix this mess".

Mr Russell insisted he wanted to strike a deal, but warned he would not settle for "any agreement, and not at any price". MSP Ash Denham said that if Ms May's government valued devolution they would remove clause 11 from the Bill.

Speaking on TalkRadio, Mr Jenkin said: "There's something of a manufactured row here that, of course, the powers that we are talking about were held by the European Union and were never held by the Scottish Parliament". Nicola Sturgeon has refused to compromise.

"The Tories shambolic handling of this key area for Scotland is pushing the case towards the Supreme Court".

Scottish lawmakers voted 93-30 against May's European Union withdrawal bill. The Scottish Government has said it can't accept it without amendments. "Even at this late stage our door remains open".

If no deal between Edinburgh and London can be reached, Westminster has the option of introducing the Withdrawal Bill against the wishes of the Scottish Parliament.

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