Commons committee refuses to back veto for Holyrood over Brexit strategy
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.