MSPs to get say over Brexit Great Repeal Bill

MSPs are to be given the chance to have their say over the crucial legislation that will bring EU laws back to the UK, Scottish Secretary David Mundell has said.
Scottish Secretary David MundellScottish Secretary David Mundell
Scottish Secretary David Mundell

Mr Mundell said the UK Government’s Great Repeal Bill should require Holyrood consent after a key meeting with Scottish Government ministers.

The meeting with Finance Secretary Derek Mackay and Brexit minister Michael Russell was held to discuss which powers should be repatriated to Holyrood as a result of the Great Repeal Bill..

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Mr Mundell said EU criminal justice powers were likely to come to Edinburgh although he warned that deciding the fine detail of how the new batch of powers are distributed between Westminster and Holyrood would take time.

The Supreme Court this week ruled that Holyrood should not have the power to block Article 50, the legislation triggering Brexit.

But the Scottish Secretary indicated a different approach would be taken to the Great Repeal Bill, which should have a Holyrood vote through a legislative consent motion .

“I anticipate that unlike the Article 50 notification that the Great Repeal Bill would be the subject of the legislative consent process and I am working on that basis,”.

“Given that the Great Repeal Bill will both impact on the responsibilities of this parliament and the responsibilities of Scottish ministers I think it is fair to anticipate that it would be the subject of a legislative consent process.”

When asked what would happen if Holyrood withheld its consent, Mr Mundell replied: “I think there are really big issues in the Great Repeal Bill and there will be issues around powers for this parliament and there will be issues around whether we have a hole in our law because the body of European law hasn’t been adopted. So not agreeing to the Great Appeal Bill will have very significant consequences.”

Mr Mundell also indicated there could be another Scotland Bill produced in order to transfer the new powers to Holyrood.

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“There could be another Scotland Bill. I’ll frighten my officials by saying that. It could be dealt with in other ways through other legislative routes. There will be some of form of legislative vehicle,” Mr Mundell said.

On the potential for new Holyrood powers, Mr Mundell said: “There are a series of powers exercised in Brussels what I see is the landscape is that some of those powers will go to Westminster other powers come here to Holyrood. The criminal justice powers are the most obvious ones. I can see no basis why these powers wouldn’t come (to Holyrood). There will also some that will be shared. What I want is a clear list of what powers are returning to the United Kingdom and then have an agreement as to where they will land.”