Brexit will strengthen devolution, David Mundell claims

Written by Jenni Davidson on 21 February 2019 in News

The Secretary of State for Scotland will give a speech in Edinburgh to mark 20 years of devolution

David Mundell - Image credit: PA Images

Brexit will strengthen devolution, David Mundell will claim today, as he gives a speech in Edinburgh to mark 20 years of devolution.

In his speech to an audience including business leaders and academics, the Secretary of State for Scotland is expected to call claims Holyrood is being stripped of powers through Brexit is “complete fantasy” and “an invented grievance”.

Brexit will bring new powers to the Scottish Parliament, Mundell will say.

And, in a reference to the SNP’s former anti-devolution stance, he will warn that people should be “deeply suspicious” when “opponents of devolution try to present themselves as its champions and protectors”.

“To listen to the rhetoric coming from some of my political opponents, you could be forgiven for thinking that Holyrood is being stripped of a whole raft of powers it currently exercises,” Mundell is expected to say.

“It is complete fantasy; an invented grievance.

“The reality is that more than 100 powers previously exercised in Brussels will transfer to Edinburgh on the day we leave the EU.

“To characterise this process as a ‘power grab’ is nonsense.

“We should remain deeply suspicious when opponents of devolution try to present themselves as its champions and protectors.”

He will add: “I do not believe Brexit will damage devolution.

“I want it to strengthen devolution, and I believe that can and will happen.”

The Scottish Secretary will also say that it will be important for the UK and Scottish governments to work well together.

“In the years ahead, our two governments – and the devolved administrations elsewhere in the UK - will need to work more closely than ever before.

“Going forward, I want to see a Scotland’s two governments working closely together for the benefit of people in Scotland.

“Scotland would be ill-served if one government cannot add to the work that is being done by another.

“The time is right for this.

“Scots expect their two governments to work together and politicians on all sides accept the need to work together.”

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