Scottish Parliament could have the power to block Brexit, Theresa May reveals

Written by Kevin Schofield, Josh May and Tom Freeman on 22 June 2017 in News

'Great Repeal Bill' may need approval by Holyrood, Theresa May admits

Theresa May and Nicola Sturgeon - Bute House

The Scottish Parliament could effectively be given a veto over Britain's departure from the European Union, it has emerged.

Theresa May revealed that Holyrood may have to pass a so-called "legislative consent motion" in order for the Government's Great Repeal Bill to become law at Westminster.

The bill is aimed at ending the authority of EU law in the UK by transferring all Brussels legislation onto the Commons statute book.


In the Commons following the Queen's Speech, SNP MP Stewart McDonald asked Mrs May "if a legislative consent motion will be required for the Scottish Parliament for the Great Repeal Bill".

The Prime Minister said: "There is a possibility that a legislative consent motion may be required in the Scottish Parliament, but that is a matter that is being considered currently between the Westminster and the Scottish government."

Scots voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, while pro-Remain parties have a clear majority at Holyrood.

The prospect of Scotland effectively having a veto over Brexit will enrage Leave supporters and has the potential to spark a full-blown constitutional crisis.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister pleaded with MSPs not to vote against the Great Repeal Bill.

He said: "We would hope that everyone would get behind delivering on the will of the British people."

The SNP has suggested the Great Repeal Bill may represent a "power grab".

Kirsty Blackman MP said details in the Queen's Speech show the UK government intends to centralise powers repatriated from the EU, particularly relating to agriculture and fisheries.
"Scotland was promised huge new powers after Brexit but it is increasingly clear the Tories are in fact planning to use Brexit as an excuse for a Westminster power grab," she said.
"The new Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove, must use his visit to the Royal Highland show tomorrow to explain to the Scottish people why the many powers he promised to Scotland – including over issues like farming, fishing and even immigration – have so far come to nothing, and why the Tories are now putting current powers, and the very principles of devolution, under threat."

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