Holyrood can't block Brexit, admits Alex Salmond

Alex Salmond has admitted that the Scottish Parliament cannot block Brexit despite weekend suggestions by Nicola Sturgeon that this could be a possibility.

Alex Salmond has said that Westminster can override a Scots veto. Picture: PA
Alex Salmond has said that Westminster can override a Scots veto. Picture: PA

The First Minister indicated at the weekend that Holyrood could withold consent from aspects of Brexit affecting Scotland prompting speculation that this could jeopardise a UK withdrawal. Ms Sturgeon even admitted this could provoke “fury” in England.

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But Mr Salmond told BBC Radio Scotland today: “What Nicola said is the Scottish Parliament would likely withold legislative consent and legislative consent is necessary.

“But Nicola knows full well that legislative consent is not a veto and the words veto never passed her lips, because of course, I think clause 28 of the Scotland Act says Westminster has an override.

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“So the Scottish Parliament can block but Westminster can override.”

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He said MSPs from Scotland - where in “every single local authority area last Thursday, the people voted to Remain part of Europe” - cannot be expected to give consent.

But Mr Salmond added: “The Scotland Act is quite clear there’s a Westminster override.

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“It’s not a veto but Nicola is quite corect to say that you can withold legislative consent.”

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