UK and Scottish ministers set for post-Brexit powers talks

Written by Tom Freeman on 9 August 2017 in News

Post-Brexit devolution settlement set to feature in summit of ministers in Edinburgh

Damian Green - PA

Scottish Secretary David Mundell and UK First Secretary of State Damian Green will meet Deputy First Minister John Swinney and Scotland's Brexit Minister Michael Russell in Edinburgh today to discuss the devolution settlement after Britain has left the European Union.

The talks come amid a war of words over whether Brexit will mean less or more powers being devolved to Scotland.

Under the UK's proposed repeal bill, powers repatriated from Brussels will all go first directly to Westminster, but Mundell has said there would then be a "power bonanza for the Scottish Parliament".

But the Scottish Government have called the legislation a "naked power grab".


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Ahead of the meeting, Green said: "There will be other areas where I intend that the Scottish and UK governments can make progress in identifying policy areas that could be released to Holyrood under the new legislative arrangements.

"We expect there will be a significant increase in the decision-making power of each devolved administration and we want to address this in a way which delivers certainty and continuity for people and businesses across the UK."

Russell said the bill was a "fundamental attack" on devolution.

“The bill – as it currently stands – means that Westminster would take exclusive control over significant areas of devolved policy, such as support for Scotland’s farmers and food producers and many aspects of environmental protection and control of our seas," he said.

“We know that the UK Government has its eye on more than 100 policy areas. That is a direct threat to the devolution settlement which the people of Scotland overwhelmingly voted for in 1997.

“Both we and the Welsh Government have made it clear we could not recommend legislative consent to the bill as it stands, and today we will make clear that changes must be made to protect devolution."

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