No breakthrough in Holyrood-Westminster Brexit deadlock

The constitutional stand-off between Holyrood and Westminster over Brexit is unlikely to see an 11th hour breakthrough as MSPs this week prepare to pass a new post-EU legal framework for Scotland.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wants a "sunset clause" in UK Brexit Bill
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon wants a "sunset clause" in UK Brexit Bill

A spokesman for First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said no "substantive" progress had been made to end the deadlock.

The EU Continuity Bill will complete its emergency passage through the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday amid concerns that the current Westminster Brexit Bill for the whole of the UK is a "power grab" on Scotland's devolved powers.

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Time running out in Brexit stand-off between Holyrood and Westminster

The legal dispute over the Scottish Parliament's right to legislate on Brexit is likely to mean that the dispute between the two Governments ends up in the UK Supreme Court with judges left to decide whether Holyrood or Westminster is in control.

He admitted that the prospect of the stand-off being resolved in court was now possible, but added: "I wouldn't assume it's a given."

Ms Sturgeon had suggested that inserting a "sunset clause" in the UK legislation could allow Scottish ministers to support it.

But the spokesman said there had been "nothing substantive" in terms of a response from UK ministers on this, although officials were still in discussion.

The Scottish Government has indicated that it remains keen to reach an agreement with UK ministers on the EU Withdrawal Bill at the Commons which "respects" the devolution settlement, with the Welsh Government also concerned about the "power grab."

But UK ministers insist common frameworks are needed in some devolved areas like farming and fishing to protect the UK internal market.