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#Brexit threat to devolution – UK Ministers “must abandon power grab”.

Scottish Government ministers today told their UK counterparts that the powers of the Scottish Parliament must be protected to avoid undermining the foundations of devolution following Brexit.   The UK Government says it wants all devolved powers currently exercised at an EU level and returning from Brussels to bypass Holyrood and go directly to Westminster instead.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney and Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe Michael Russell will told UK ministers to “abandon their attempted power grab”.
They met First Secretary of State Damian Green and Scottish Secretary David Mundell in Edinburgh.
Speaking ahead of the meeting, Mr Russell said:
“The UK Government is pursuing an extreme Brexit which will damage jobs and the economy by forcing us out of the world’s biggest market-place.
“That’s why we are urging them to change course and stay inside the European Single Market.
“And it is essential that they also change the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, which represents a fundamental attack on the principles of devolution.
“The bill – as it currently stands – means that Westminster would take exclusive control over significant areas of devolved policy, such as support for Scotland’s farmers and food producers and many aspects of environmental protection and control of our seas.
“We know that the UK Government has its eye on more than 100 policy areas. That is a direct threat to the devolution settlement which the people of Scotland overwhelmingly voted for in 1997.
“Both we and the Welsh Government have made it clear we could not recommend legislative consent to the bill as it stands, and today we will make clear that changes must be made to protect devolution.
“All devolved powers currently carried out at an EU level must come back to the Scottish Parliament. We are not opposed in principle to UK-wide frameworks in certain areas – but this must be on the basis of agreement among equals, not imposed by Westminster.
“Recent statements by UK ministers on fishing and farming highlight the danger of policies being imposed without the devolved administrations having any say.
“There is currently no sign of any of the new powers we were told during the EU referendum would be coming to Scotland, such as over immigration – instead we have an attempted power grab which must be abandoned.”


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Category: A Frontpage, Brexit, Scotland, UK

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