Scot­land seeks to block Brexit talks with­out its ap­proval

Jamaica Gleaner - - BUSINESS - – AP – AP

Head of the Mid­dle East and North Africa di­vi­sion at To­tal, Stephane Michel, (left), and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Ira­nian Oil Com­pany, Ali Kar­dor, (right), shake hands af­ter sign­ing doc­u­ments in Tehran, Iran, on Tues­day, Novem­ber 8.

project in­cludes 30 wells, two off­shore plat­forms and two pipe­lines ex­tend­ing 85 miles (136 kilo­me­tres).

Iran seeks to be a gas pro­duc­tion hub to feed neigh­bour­ing coun­tries as well as Europe and China. It cur­rently pro­duces some 500 mil­lion cu­bic me­tres of gas per day, which mainly goes to do­mes­tic con­sump­tion.

The land­mark nu­clear deal came into ef­fect at the start of this year. It lifts in­ter­na­tional sanc­tions on Iran in re­turn for Tehran curb­ing its nu­clear pro­gramme. SCOT­LAND’S GOV­ERN­MENT says it will ask Bri­tain’s Supreme Court to block Prime Min­is­ter Theresa May from trig­ger­ing Euro­pean Union exit talks with­out con­sult­ing the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment first.

May has said she plans to start di­vorce talks by in­vok­ing Ar­ti­cle 50 of the EU treaty be­fore March 31. But last week, the High Court ruled that law­mak­ers in Bri­tain’s Par­lia­ment must first have a say.

The gov­ern­ment is ask­ing the Supreme Court to over­turn the rul­ing. Hear­ings are due next month.

Scot­tish First Min­is­ter Ni­cola Stur­geon said Tues­day that Scot­land would seek to in­ter­vene in the case, be­cause “the con­sent of the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment should be sought be­fore Ar­ti­cle 50 is trig­gered.”

Bri­tons voted to June 23 to leave the EU — but vot­ers in Scot­land strongly backed stay­ing in.

Mean­time, Brexit Sec­re­tary David Davis said Mon­day that May’s plan to start the process by the end of March is still in place de­spite the court set­back.

“There can be no go­ing back. The point of no re­turn was passed on June 23,” he said, re­fer­ring to the date of the his­toric Brexit ref­er­en­dum.

Davis said the gov­ern­ment would seek in De­cem­ber to over­turn the rul­ing in the coun­try’s Supreme Court, where a speedy de­ci­sion is ex­pected. If the gov­ern­ment loses the ap­peal, May would seek Par­lia­ment’s ap­proval, prob­a­bly early in 2017.

He com­plained that op­po­si­tion fig­ures are seek­ing to “wreck” May’s dis­cus­sions with the re­main­ing EU mem­bers by de­mand­ing that she share her ne­go­ti­at­ing strat­egy with Par­lia­ment and the pub­lic.

But Davis said the gov­ern­ment would not meet the op­po­si­tion’s de­mands to re­veal its ne­go­ti­at­ing po­si­tion in what are ex­pected to be two years of dif­fi­cult sep­a­ra­tion talks.

“We won’t achieve a good ne­go­ti­a­tion out­come if this is a ne­go­ti­a­tion be­ing run by 650 peo­ple in this House of Com­mons or nearly 900 in the Lords,” Davis said. “No ne­go­ti­a­tion in his­tory has been run that way.”

There is sig­nif­i­cant op­po­si­tion to leav­ing the EU among Labour Party, Lib­eral Demo­crat and Scot­tish Na­tional Party law­mak­ers. A num­ber of Con­ser­va­tive Party mem­bers also op­pose the move.

The gov­ern­ment, how­ever, faces strong po­lit­i­cal pres­sure to re­spect the ref­er­en­dum that passed with 52 per cent of the vote.

Davis warned Brexit op­po­nents not to seek a sec­ond ref­er­en­dum in hopes of re­vers­ing the June 23 vote.

He said pro­pos­als from the op­po­si­tion Labour and Lib­eral Democrats “look in­creas­ingly like at­tempts to thwart and re­verse” the vote.

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