Big constitutional issues at stake in Brexit Bill

The flag of the EU with the word Brexit in the middle

Proposed legislation bringing existing EU law into UK law is “fundamentally flawed” and needs to be reworked, a Lords committee has said.

The “scale and complexity” of the EU Withdrawal Bill is complicated by the fact that much depends on the outcome of Brexit negotiations, it says.

The Lords Constitutional Committee says, as it stands, the bill is “constitutionally unacceptable” and without agreement from Holyrood and Cardiff Bay on devolution issues there could be “significant constitutional repercussions”.

It will be debated by peers for the first time on Tuesday 30th January.

In the meantime, MSPs on Holyrood’s Finance and Constitution Committee have unanimously agreed that clause 11 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill “represents a fundamental shift in the structure of devolution” and could damage “the integrity of the devolution settlement in Scotland”.  In a highly unusual move, the committee, which includes three Conservative MSPs, made clear it cannot recommend the Scottish Parliament gives formal consent to the Bill as it currently stands – calling for the controversial clause to either be replaced or removed.

Meanwhile the Scottish Government have announced that unless amendments are made to the Bill to change aspects dealing with devolution that they do not agree with – mainly those which propose to bring back EU powers in devolved areas direct to Westminster, rather than to Holyrood – then the Scottish Government will bring forward an EU Continuity Bill in Scotland.

Read more here.



Image credit: ChiralJon, Flickr 


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