Jack McConnell: EU powers should go ‘automatically’ to Holyrood

Written by Tom Freeman and Kevin Schofield on 14 September 2017 in News

Former First Minister Jack McConnell says both UK and Scottish governments must take the implications of Brexit more seriously

Jack McConnell - Broad Daylight

Former First Minister Jack McConnell has said powers from the repeal of EU laws should be passed “automatically” to the Scottish Parliament.

Speaking to Holyrood’s sister site Politics Home, Lord McConnell said both governments should take the implications of leaving the EU “more seriously”.

The comments come ahead of a lecture by McConnell at the University of Glasgow this evening.


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"Brexit will be the biggest constitutional change in the UK since devolution. The UK and Scottish governments have to take the scale of that change more seriously,” he said.

“They need to stop positioning themselves for a future Scottish independence referendum and instead set out their positions on the devolution of powers repatriated from Brussels and the way in which they will work together in certain key areas in the future.

"From the laws that protect children to agriculture and fisheries, there are a whole series of new powers that will exist in the UK, without European jurisdiction, after Brexit."

McConnell said many of those powers should "automatically" be transferred to the Scottish Parliament - something the UK Government has refused to guarantee.

But he said the Scottish government must also begin work on how it plans to use those powers, if it gets them.

He also said there should be monthly meetings between UK and Scottish ministers on how the current impasse can be broken.

He added: "More speeches and stand-offs will not resolve these issues, negotiations and attention to detail will. I urge both government to get on with the job and make it happen."

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