Still time for EU withdrawal bill, says Sturgeon
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Nicola Sturgeon has said there is still time to secure an agreement on vital Brexit legislation as UK ministers were urged to come to Scotland to hear Holyrood’s concerns.
The first minister told MSPs the Scottish Government was continuing to press the UK Government to listen to the concerns of the Scottish Parliament over the EU Withdrawal Bill.
Holyrood voted by 93 to 30 against giving formal consent to the legislation, which has been branded a “power grab” by SNP ministers.
At first minister’s questions, Ms Sturgeon urged the Scottish Tories to “stand up for the rights” of the Scottish Parliament.
She said: “We continue to ask the UK Government to listen to and more importantly respect the view of this Parliament which was so decisively expressed in the vote on Tuesday.
“The requirement in the convention to respect the views of this Parliament and not to proceed with legislation that affects the powers of this Parliament without our consent is not a nicety, it is not an addon, it is a fundamentally important part of our constitutional settlement – those are actually the words of (Tory MSP) Adam Tomkins just a matter of weeks ago.
“There is still time to get an agreement on this, but an agreement can only be reached if it respects the rights of this Parliament and is based on the fundamentally important principle of the consent, genuine consent, of this Parliament.”
Meanwhile Scotland’s Brexit Minister Mike Russell urged UK ministers to come to Scotland to hear the concerns over the bill first hand.
He said: “The Scottish Parliament made it explicitly clear that the current EU Withdrawal Bill as it stands is not acceptable.
“The Scottish Government and Parliament have already set out a clear way forward – either remove the legislative constraint and proceed on the basis of mutual trust, or amend the bill so the Parliament’s consent is required before any orders are made.
“The clock is ticking and we need urgent action that respects the position of the Scottish Parliament and the devolution settlement the people of Scotland voted for.”
“The clock is ticking and we need urgent action”