Sturgeon To Discuss Brexit Repeal Bill With Welsh First Minister

22 August 2017, 05:30

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Scotland's First Minister will meet her Welsh counterpart in Edinburgh to discuss their opposition to the Brexit repeal Bill.

Nicola Sturgeon said the UK Government is planning to "impose new restrictions on the Scottish Parliament" and it would be "inconceivable" for her government to recommend granting consent to the legislation.

The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill is designed to transpose EU law into British law so the same rules apply on the day of Brexit as the day before and involves EU responsibilities in devolved areas being initially transferred to Westminster.

The UK Government said this will allow common frameworks to be put in place where necessary before further devolution, but the Scottish and Welsh governments believe it is a "power grab".

Ms Sturgeon and Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones joined together to oppose the Bill when it was published last month, saying they would not recommend their governments grant legislative consent to the Bill as it stands.

Ahead of their meeting on Tuesday, Ms Sturgeon said: "Both during and after the EU referendum, new powers were promised to Holyrood, but instead the UK Government is planning to impose new restrictions on the Scottish Parliament.

"The UK Government's EU (Withdrawal) Bill returns powers, even in devolved policy areas, solely to Westminster. Both the Scottish and the Welsh Governments have been clear that this power grab cannot be allowed to take place.

"I am looking forward to discussing with Carwyn Jones how we can work together to change the Bill so that devolution and the interests of the people of Scotland and Wales can be protected. As it stands, it is inconceivable that we would recommend that the Scottish Parliament gives its consent to the legislation.

"We have said repeatedly that we are willing to talk constructively with the UK Government on future arrangements. But this has to be on the basis of agreement and partnership, not imposition."

First Minister Carwyn Jones said he saw "no real desire" from the UK Government to take up this invitation.

He said: "Our position is clear and unequivocal - the Withdrawal Bill flies in the face of devolution and we cannot accept it in its current form. It is quite simply a blatant power grab from Whitehall which is not in the interest of people in Wales and the other devolved administrations."

He added: "I am looking forward to discussing with Nicola Sturgeon our shared concerns regarding the Bill and wider Brexit issues, which affects both our countries."