Scotland-UK Brexit deal continues to stall despite talks

Scotland’s Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, and Brexit Minister, Mike Russell, have met with the UK’s First Secretary of State Damian Green to discuss the European Union Withdrawal Bill. 

The talks have come after the Scottish government refused to put the Bill to Holyrood for a consent vote until the settlement of various issues.

While these new talks were said to have been constructive, they have still failed to reach a consensus between the Scottish and British governments.

The Scottish and Welsh leaders, Nicola Sturgeon and Carwyn Jones, are seeking to change aspects of the legislation, claiming that the present deal is a “power grab” of devolved responsibilities.

However, the first two First Ministers have pledged to work with, not against, the British government as they cut economic ties with Europe. 

The aspects of the Bill creating the most conflict relate to power systems in areas such as fishing and farming which are currently controlled by Brussels, not Westminster.

Both the Scottish and Welsh are insisting that these powers should not be granted to Westminster while the British government has reported its intention to incorporate this power into UK-wide frameworks. 

The Scottish government has also been pushing for the retention of single market membership and for the UK to remain in the European Customs Union.   

Speaking to the BBC on the negotiations, Swinney stated that it must be “absolutely clear that, as things stand, the Scottish parliament will not be recommended to give official consent to the EU Withdrawal Bill as a blatant power grab from Holyrood to Westminster and Whitehall.”

 

Image: Edwin Gimpel

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