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

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The Scottish Parliament voted against British Prime Minister Theresa May's landmark Brexit legislation, setting up a potential constitutional crisis and further complicating the path to an orderly departure.

Although the Scottish Parliament has no veto over the bill, the refusal to give consent is likely to cause a constitutional clash between Westminster and Holyrood.

In fact, Theresa May has ignored the will of the Scottish Parliament before, refusing to grant a second independence referendum past year after MSPs had voted for it.

It saw the SNP joined by Labour, the Greens and Liberal Democrats in opposing the bill, with only the Conservatives in favour of granting consent.


However, this has never happened before, taking the country into uncharted constitutional territory.

Scottish Brexit Minister Michael Russell said he hoped May's team would accept his proposed solution of amending the clause allowing the U.K.to change European Union laws affecting Scotland, and said the U.K government needed to show more flexibility in future talks.

The Scottish Parliament voted by a margin of 93 to 30 not to grant a Legislative Consent Motion (LCM) to the keynote Brexit legislation following the First Minister's warnings that it would lead to a Westminster "power grab".

"If this government forces through the legislation without the consent of the Scottish Parliament, the prime minister will be doing so in the full knowledge that they are breaking the 20-year-old devolution settlement".


"The danger if I am being less optimistic, or pessimistic, is that the whole process crashes before [a deal] can emerge because time is running out and the clock is ticking", Sturgeon said on Monday.

Scottish Government ministers however fear the legislation, as it now stands, could see Holyrood's powers constrained for up to seven years after the United Kingdom quits the European Union and are demanding changes before they will give it the go ahead.

Scotland voted against independence by 55 percent in a referendum in 2014, but Sturgeon insists she has a mandate to hold a second vote since Scotland voted against Brexit by 62 percent in 2016.

"That is why I must recommend the Scottish Parliament votes against accepting the bill in its current form".


Mrs May said the bill meant the devolved governments would still to be able to make all the decisions they can now make after Brexit.

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