The SNP has indicated it will demand a seat at the Brexit negotiations in Brussels in return for ensuring the Scottish Parliament does not disrupt Theresa May’s plans to withdraw Britain from the European Union.
The Prime Minister confirmed in the Commons on Wednesday, that the Government’s key Repeal Bill - repealing the 1972 Act which took the UK into the European Economic Community - may require a “legislative consent motion” in Holyrood,
Her admission potentially hands a veto to the Parliament in Edinburgh where the SNP governs with the support of the Greens.
Ian Blackford, the SNP leader at Westminster, signalled that they would be seeking a place in the Brexit talks in order to achieve a different arrangement for Scotland as the price of allowing the legislative consent motion to pass.
“There needs to be a meeting of the joint ministerial committee - the Parliament in London, meeting together with the governments in Edinburgh, of Belfast and of Cardiff,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
“I think it is right - and many people have said this - that the Scottish Government should be represented at the talks in Brussels.
“For us, it is about maintaining our ability to trade through the European single market, to have the benefits of the customs union and, as a consequence of that, free movement of people.”
Mrs May has been adamant that the UK will leave the EU together and that there cannot be a separate deal for Scotland, which voted strongly against Brexit.
Mr Blackford played down suggestions that they were threatening to veto the Repeal Bill and insisted that what the SNP was offering a compromise arrangement that respected the interests of both sides.
“Of course that (a veto) is there but I am not talking about that. I am talking about the spirit of compromise. I am hoping that we can get some sense and a recognition that our interests are perhaps in this case not wholly at one with the rest of the United Kingdom,” he said.
“We are actually trying to be reasonable and say ‘Look we understand the position that you’re in but also let’s make sure that respect cuts both ways.”