Scottish and Welsh Governments Refuse to Back So-Called Repeal Bill
July 31, 2017
SCOTTISH AND WELSH GOVERNMENTS REFUSE TO BACK SO-CALLED REPEAL BILL
The Scottish and Welsh governments have agreed they cannot support the UK Government’s so-called Repeal Bill as it currently stands, warning it “does not respect the devolution powers of either the Scottish Parliament or the National Assembly for Wales”.
Following a meeting between the two administrations, Welsh Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford and Scottish Brexit minister Mike Russell released a statement outlining concerns over the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, which will transfer EU legislation into UK law, saying it does not “fulfil promises made by the UK Government”.
The statement follows repeated expressions of frustration from Scotland and Wales over the UK’s approach to Brexit, with Nicola Sturgeon and Carwyn Jones having previously dismissed the bill as a “naked power grab” which will undermine the principles of devolution.
Publishing the bill earlier this month, Scottish Secretary David Mundell said the plan was designed to maintain the British single market, with powers only devolved from Whitehall if divergence from the UK framework is deemed to be acceptable.
The Joint Ministerial Committee allows dialogue between different UK administrations, including devolved governments, on matters which concern them. However, the UK Government has faced criticism from the SNP Government over its approach to the meetings, with Scottish Brexit minister Mike Russell describing meetings between the Scottish and UK governments as a “a wasted opportunity”.
Drakeford and Russell said:
“The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, as it stands, does not respect the devolution powers of either the Scottish Parliament or the National Assembly for Wales or fulfil promises made by the UK Government.
“We can’t back the Bill as it stands and will continue to work together to reverse any attempt to take powers from Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales.
“We will continue to press the UK Government that they enter into negotiations with both devolved administrations on the Bill on the basis that we are equal partners on an issue that will have a hugely significant impact on the future of our economy and society.”