Delays on Brexit bill changes ‘absolutely disgraceful’: Nicola Sturgeon

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell
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Scotland’s First Minister has described delays to amendments to key Brexit legislation as “absolutely disgraceful”.

Nicola Sturgeon said the European Union Withdrawal Bill should be changed to take into account the concerns of the devolved administrations “without further delay”.

The Scottish and Welsh Governments have said they cannot recommend the legislation be granted consent in its existing form, which would see EU responsibilities in devolved areas initially transferred to Westminster.

The UK Government said this would allow common frameworks to be created ahead of further devolution , but it has been branded a ‘’power grab’’ by the first ministers of Scotland and Wales.

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Scottish Secretary David Mundell had previously said the changes aimed at addressing their concerns would be introduced next week, during the report stage in the House of Commons.

But it has emerged the timetable has slipped, with the UK Government now not tabling amendments until the bill reaches the House of Lords.

Speaking at First Minister’s Questions, Ms Sturgeon said: “The failure to bring forward amendments to the Withdrawal Bill at the report stage of the House of Commons is not just a disgrace - although it absolutely is a disgrace - it’s in direct contradiction to the promise that the Secretary of State for Scotland made, that these amendments would be brought forward to the House of Commons, and not to the undemocratic, unelected House of Lords.

“That promise has been completely broken.”

Ms Sturgeon added: “We need to see amendments without further delay, but not only any amendments. We need to see amendments that properly address the issue.”

The First Minister said it was “absolutely disgraceful that having launched this power grab on this Parliament, the Tories have then broken all of the promises they’ve made so far about fixing it. So let’s see that change sooner rather than later”.

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