SNP’s Brexit powers stance wins unlikely backing from UKIP

Neil Hamilton. Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Euro realist
Neil Hamilton. Picture: Wikimedia Commons/Euro realist
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The Scottish Government’s approach to the growing row over the repatriation of powers to devolved administrations after Brexit has received backing from an unlikely source - the arch eurosceptics of UKIP.

SNP Ministers are preparing to publish its own Brexit bill amid an ongoing row with Westminster over what they categorise as an attempted ‘power grab’ contained in the UK Government’s Great Repeal Bill.

Brexit Minister Mike Russell will deliver a statement on the SNP’s ‘EU Continuity Bill’ today, in advance of a ruling by Holyrood’s Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh on whether the legislation is competent.

READ MORE: SNP to forge ahead with Brexit bill

Now, the UKIP Group in the Welsh Assembly, led by controversial former MP Neil Hamilton, have backed the publication of a continuity bill, a version of which Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones will unveil today.

The row centres on powers that will return from the EU in devolved areas, which Mr Jones and Nicola Sturgeon agreed should automatically return to the devolved administrations in the first instance.

This stance has now been adopted by the pro-Brexit party, which is currently leaderless but which maintains a significant presence in the Welsh Assembly.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon says Brexit stance ‘undermines devolution’

UKIP’s backing for the stance of the First Ministers of Wales and Scotland given their history of opposing devolution.

Neil Hamilton, a Welsh Assembly member for the party, said: “By blocking a direct transfer of powers in devolved areas from Brussels to Cardiff,

Theresa May has handed a weapon to Brexit opponents.

“This is another unnecessary row and a symptom of her bungled Brexit, overseen by her rebellious Cabinet of Remainers with tin ears.

“Brexit should be all about devolution from unelected bureaucrats to elected politicians at the most local level practicable.

“UKIP accepts the will of the people in the devolution referenda and the UK Government should deliver on that deal, not undermine it.”