Com­mons com­mit­tee re­fuses to back veto for Holy­rood over Brexit strat­egy

The Herald - - POLITICS -

NA­TION­AL­ISTS failed to get a Com­mons com­mit­tee to back giv­ing Holy­rood a veto on Theresa May’s Brexit strat­egy and a vote seek­ing its en­dorse­ment on the fi­nal deal, a re­port re­veals to­day.

A se­ries of votes were taken on the 21-strong cross-party Ex­it­ing the Euro­pean Union Com­mit­tee as to whether or not cer­tain points should be in­cluded or omit­ted from its first re­port on Brexit.

Labour, which sided with the Con­ser­va­tives to vote down the de­volved par­lia­ments in Ed­in­burgh, Cardiff and Belfast hav­ing a vote to en­dorse the UK Gov­ern­ment’s fi­nal deal, was ac­cused by Plaid Cymru MP Jonathan Ed­wards of “fail­ing to stand up to the Tories”.

But Scot­tish Labour’s Ian Mur­ray hit back, de­nounc­ing the Na­tion­al­ists for “play­ing po­lit­i­cal games to score cheap points”. In its con­clu­sion, the Brexit com­mit­tee called on Theresa May to make clear whether or not she aimed to keep Bri­tain in the Euro­pean sin­gle mar­ket and cus­toms union when she pub­lished her Brexit ne­go­ti­a­tions plan.

The PM is due to make a speech on her strat­egy on Tues­day. The com­mit­tee re­port said Mrs May must com­mit to giv­ing MPs a vote on the fi­nal deal with the re­main­ing mem­ber states.

It also said she should pub­lish her Brexit plan as a White Pa­per by mid-Fe­bru­ary to give MPs a chance to de­bate it be­fore the PM kicks off ne­go­ti­a­tions by tabling Ar­ti­cle 50 in March. The re­port also said min­is­ters should seek an out­line frame­work of the UK’s fu­ture trad­ing re­la­tion­ship with the EU as part of the Ar­ti­cle 50 ne­go­ti­a­tions with ap­pro­pri­ate tran­si­tional ar­range­ments to al­low trade to con­tinue nor­mally if a deal is not reached in time for the ex­pected Brexit date of 2019.

Mr Ed­wards failed to get omit­ted a ref­er­ence to how “no part of the UK has a veto over the out­come of the ne­go­ti­a­tions”. The re­port also said it was es­sen­tial all the de­volved gov­ern­ments and re­gions of Eng­land were in­volved in the process.

Mr Ed­wards pro­posed the re­port say: “It is clear that the fi­nal ne­go­ti­ated set­tle­ment will im­pact di­rectly on the func­tions of the de­volved in­sti­tu­tions and there­fore the en­dorse­ment of the de­volved par­lia­ments should be sought for the fi­nal deal.”

JONATHAN ED­WARDS: Ac­cused Labour of fail­ing to stand up to the Tories.

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