UK’s curb on Scots power ‘needs repealed’

Michael Russell

The Scottish Government’s Constitutional Relations Secretary Michael Russell has said the “unnecessary” UK law curbing the powers of the Scottish Parliament is undermining devolution and should now be repealed.

The Scottish Government said that in an update to the UK House of Commons, the UK Minister for the Cabinet Office, David Lidington, confirmed “significant progress” is being made agreeing common policy frameworks in the event of Brexit.

It also said Lidington confirmed there have been no orders made so far under section 12 of the EU (Withdrawal) Act, “which allows the UK Government to freeze devolved powers.”

The legislation was refused consent by the Scottish Parliament.

Russell said: “In line with the people of Scotland, the Scottish Government opposes Brexit and the chaos surrounding negotiations demonstrates the harm that will be caused from leaving the EU.

“However, if Brexit is to happen, we have always said that co-operation between governments is clearly the right and best way both to ready our statute books and to agree common UK frameworks, where these are in Scotland’s interests – not imposing policies and laws on Scotland against our democratic will.

“The significant progress being made on frameworks vindicates the Scottish Government’s consistent position and renders section 12 completely unnecessary.

“We have made it clear that if the UK Government tried to introduce a section 12 order we could not continue co-operation.

“Grabbing power from the Scottish Parliament and undermining the devolution settlement is obviously not conducive to cooperative working and section 12 should be immediately repealed.”