SCOTTISH AND WELSH GOVERNMENTS VOW TO BLOCK GREAT REPEAL BILL 'AS IT CURRENTLY STANDS'
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP and her Welsh counterpart Carwyn Jones MA say the Bill 'does not return powers from the EU to the devolved administrations as promised' ---------------------------------------- Ms Sturgeon has joined forces with her Welsh counterpart in threatening to block the UK Government's Brexit laws. They warned Prime Minister Theresa May that she faced a constitutional crisis unless she rewrote the legislation. Ms Sturgeon also branded the Government's Great Repeal Bill as a "naked power grab" by Westminster that undermined the principles of devolution. A statement was issued after Scotland's First Minister and Mr Jones held separate meetings with Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, in Brussels.It said: "The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill does not return powers from the European Union (EU) to the devolved administrations, as promised. "It returns them solely to the UK government and parliament, and imposes new restrictions on the Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales. "On that basis, the Scottish and Welsh governments cannot recommend that legislative consent is given to the bill as it currently stands." Ms Sturgeon spoke out after a 45 minute meeting with Mr Barnier which she said was "useful and constructive". She used it to stress the importance of the UK remaining in both the European single market and the customs union and that the SNP Government would "do all it can to build a consensus against an extreme Brexit outside the single market, which would have potentially catastrophic consequences for jobs, investment and our living standards." Ms Sturgeon has consistently called for the SNP Government to have a 'seat at the table' for the Brexit negotiations. After her meeting with Mr Barnier, she said: "We have always been clear that this is not about holding separate Scottish negotiations. It is for the UK as the member state to negotiate with the EU and as such we will continue to work hard to influence the UK position. "However, meetings like this are helpful in developing a mutual understanding between the SNP Government and the EU as these vital negotiations gather pace." Commenting, Patricia Gibson added: "The SNP Westminster Group has pledged to launch 'guerrilla warfare' against the Great Repeal Bill and amend the legislation line by line to restrict the powers it gives to the UK Government. "We cannot sit back while the Tories recklessly plough ahead with no regard for Scotland's interests."