UK government to press on with Brexit bill despite no agreement


The UK superintendence has confirmed it will seek to amend its Brexit bill without the submit of the Scottish and Welsh governments.

Cabinet Office Minister David Lidington imagined he remained confident that an agreement would ultimately be reached.

But he prognosticated the amendment would be published in time for it to be debated in the House of Lords.

He was declaring after the latest round of talks between the governments in London again stopped without a deal.

The talks have centred on what happens to powers in devolved zones that return to the UK from Brussels after Brexit, with the devolved dispensations accusing Westminster of planning a «power grab».

The Cabinet Office has implied the amendment to the bill will mean that all EU powers that «intersect with devolved competencies» want go directly to Holyrood and Cardiff Bay.

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But there would be a provision for the UK supervision to maintain a temporary «status quo» arrangement over a small number of returning method areas where an agreement for a UK framework had not been reached in time for Brexit.

Mr Lidington thought his Scottish and Welsh counterparts had used the latest meeting to make «deliberate with criticisms» of the proposed changes.

And he pledged to «consider further» suggestions they had put assist that would address their concerns that the proposals inclination still give Westminster a veto over some devolved precincts.

And he said there was «no objection» from either the Scottish or Welsh authorities to the amendment being published.

What is the row all about?

The dispute centres on 111 rooms such as agriculture and the environment which are devolved but are currently run in part by the European Accord.

The controversial Clause 11 of the Brexit bill proposes that these powers initially offer to Westminster while UK ministers decide which frameworks should function on a UK-wide basis.

The UK government has since proposed changes that make mean about 85 of these powers going straight to Holyrood, while the surplus will become part of UK-wide frameworks.

But the Scottish government expresses these proposals are still not acceptable as they would effectively resign the UK government a veto over some of Holyrood’s powers.

It has said it see fit withhold legislative consent for the EU Withdrawal Bill at Holyrood if an agreement is not reached, and has already introduced its own «continuity banknote» at Holyrood.

Withholding consent would for the Withdrawal Bill would not amount to a stoppage of Brexit, would would make things very difficult politically for the prime member attend to.

Mr Lidington said: «I am very pleased with the way in which things went, and I believe we had a very constructive exchange of views and we all committed ourselves to continue the talks».

He annexed: «While I remain hopeful that a deal can still be done, we get a long-standing commitment to parliament to bring forward an amendment and will now columnar list it — as discussed with the devolved administrations.

«I strongly believe our proposal leave respect and strengthen the devolution settlements across the UK and do so in a way that still allows the UK authority to protect the vitally important UK common market, providing much-needed certainly and no new barriers for families and businesses.»

Leaked letter

A letter obtained by the BBC at the of the meeting suggested UK ministers want to publish details of which powers should assign UK-wide — which Mr Lidington also confirmed.

The Scottish government concedes the proposals should be published — but believes they will show the range of the powers Westminster wants to take control of.

The letter also related by the BBC suggests that UK ministers have found it «difficult to counter» the «Westminster power catch» claims.

Key paragraphs from the letter

First Ministers Nicola Sturgeon and Carwyn Jones are due to maintain talks with the prime minister next week.

But Scotland’s Brexit secretary, Michael Russell, rumoured the UK government amendment would still mean a «very substantial power take over» by Whitehall unless it was changed.

He said: «It was deeply disappointing that the UK superintendence did not bring forward any new proposal today and are pressing ahead with a tabulation that, even with their proposed amendment, would brook them to unilaterally take control of devolved powers without the concurrence of the Scottish Parliament.»

‘Diverging tracks’

Both the Scottish and Welsh regulations have produced plans for continuity bills as a fallback option to grapple with with legal uncertainties caused by Brexit if they cannot harmonize to consent to the UK government’s legislation.

Mr Russell said: «We have not agreed that addition, that is absolutely explicit. They have not agreed the continuity accounts.

«So we are proceeding on tracks that appear to be diverging, it is still possible for those tracks to come together and the aim of a meeting like today is to see if that can be done and we are troublesome to do so.»

On Wednesday, the Scottish government’s «continuity bill» passed its first opt at Holyrood by 94 votes to 30.

The bill would have the effect of unseating EU laws onto the domestic statute book ahead of Brexit.

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