Nicola Sturgeon adviser warns of constitutional crisis

Sir David Edward gave the warning. Picture: Jane Barlow
Sir David Edward gave the warning. Picture: Jane Barlow
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One of Nicola Sturgeon’s key Brexit advisers has warned the UK is heading for a constitutional crisis over EU withdrawal.

Sir David Edward says there will be a “severe constitutional issue” if Holyrood tries to stand in the way of Brexit.

Edward said it was “perfectly possible” that Westminster would ignore Holyrood’s will, triggering a constitutional crisis.

Sturgeon has said the Scottish Parliament should have to give its consent to Article 50, the mechanism for leaving the EU.

Edward said any legislation that alters the competencies of the Scottish Parliament should normally have Holyrood consent.

With the SNP the largest party at Holyrood it is likely the parliament would vote against Article 50.

“Since the long term result of Article 50 – withdrawing from the EU – would affect the competencies of the Scottish Parliament that would imply that Westminster should ask for legislative consent from the Scottish Parliament,” Edward said.

There were then two options. “One is that they ask for legislative consent. If it is given then that’s the end of the matter. But if it is refused Westminster would have to decide if it was going to proceed.

“Westminster might decide not to ask for legislative consent at all. I think in either event there are the makings of a constitutional crisis.”