Scottish parliament refuses consent for Britain's European Union withdrawal bill

Scottish independence is never off the table Sturgeon says

A motion by the SNP administration in Edinburgh, which clearly states that the Scottish Parliament "does not consent" to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, was approved by 93 votes to 30 on Tuesday.

The dispute revolves around a clause in the Withdrawal bill that the SNP claims limits the lawmaking ability of the Scottish Parliament by letting London seize too many powers being returned from Brussels.

The Scottish Parliament passed its own version of Brexit legislation, called the Continuity Bill, in March by a margin of 95-32 to ensure it retains control of areas that are now devolved after Britain formally leaves the EU.

The row centres on a set of powers which are technically devolved to the Scottish Parliament, but which are now decided at Brussels to ensure rules and regulations are the same across the EU.

Nicola Sturgeon's party suspects the Conservatives are attempting a "Westminster power grab" but the Tories say the Brexit legislation does not threaten devolution.

It will be the first time since Holyrood was created.

Sturgeon said that when there was clarity on the shape of the Brexit deal between the United Kingdom and the European Union then she would be ready to give more details about Scotland's attitude towards a new independence vote.

"The Government has completely redrafted this bit of the Withdrawal Bill in order to accommodate the sensitivity that actually these powers will, in the end, come to the Scottish Parliament".

"Any constraints placed on Holyrood's existing powers without Holyrood's consent would be a democratic outrage - and it would fly in the face of the fundamental principles of devolution".

Theresa May has the power to force the Bill through without getting the consent of Scotland.

Britain's Scottish Secretary David Mundell said the United Kingdom meant to push through the withdrawal bill, but that the door was open for further talks.

The SNP said it would be "outrageous" for the British government to impose the bill on Scotland. "But I don't think they should underestimate it".

Britain as a whole voted in June 2016 to leave the European Union, but Scotland voted to remain.

The prime minister now has to decide whether to press ahead despite the vote or make renewed efforts for some kind of compromise.

However, Scottish Brexit Minister Michael Russell said it was unclear to him exactly what views the other parties would have.



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