MSPs '˜might block' Theresa May's EU Great Repeal Bill

Scotland's Brexit minister has suggested Holyrood could vote against Prime Minister Theresa May's Great Repeal Bill.

Tuesday 31st of May 2016: Scotsman Conferences - Land Reform at the Radisson Blu Hotel on the Royal Mile. Supported by Turcan Connell. Mike Russell MSP

Mike Russell said legislation to transpose all EU law applying to the UK into domestic law would require the consent of the Scottish Parliament, where the majority of MSPs are against it.

Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday Politics Scotland programme, he called for greater involvement for the devolved administrations in the “meat” of Brexit negotiations.

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Mr Russell, citing devolved areas such as fishing and agriculture, said: “There are issues which are issues for the Scottish Government, they are not issues for the UK Government.

Prime Minister Theresa May. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

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“A piece of legislation such as Theresa May is now promising, this Great Repeal Act, will require the approval of the Scottish Parliament. A legislative consent motion will be required.

“The Scottish Government, the Scottish Parliament, has a formal role there. We need to make sure that we are in there discussing these matters.”

Asked whether the Scottish Parliament would vote against a repeal Bill, he said: “Presently there is a majority against that repeal Bill, that is absolutely obvious.

Prime Minister Theresa May. Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

“We’ve had three votes in the Scottish Parliament in the last four weeks on European matters. All of them have been in favour of the single market and issues like that, and against what appears to be the current position of the hard Brexiteers who are pushing Theresa May and trying to force her into their camp.

“That, at the present moment, would appear to be the case.”

Responding to the announcement on Twitter, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was “depressing” that UK Government decisions “are being driven by ideology of the hard Brexiteers, rather than interests of country”.

Mr Russell added: “Today’s announcements, I think, are more designed to pacify the Tory right wing. They are not designed to give the clarity that people actually need.

“There is some small print in the Government’s announcement today, which seems to imply that we will be asked, the devolved administrations will be asked, for their ideas and their views.

“That’s not consultation, that’s certainly not the Theresa May full engagement and full involvement that she promised.

“We have to keep arguing for, pressing for and insisting upon the involvement of the Scottish Government and the other devolved administrations in the meat of these matters.”