Theresa May’s second in command Damian Green headed to Holyrood for a summit on policies
It came as Theresa May’s second in command Damian Green headed to Holyrood for a summit on crucial fishing, farming and environmental policies.
Damian Green headed to Holyrood for a summit on crucial fishing, farming and environmental policies
The First Secretary of State warned he wanted “serious, constructive talks” ahead of the meeting.
But last night Scotland’s Brexit Minister told Mr Green they would “not budge” on demands for powers to come straight to Scotland from Brussels.
Mike Russell branded the bill a “blatant power grab” ranting that in its current form it was “impractical and unworkable”.
And he insisted the Scottish Parliament would vote against the EU Withdrawal Bill if they didn’t get their way.
“The current proposals are a direct threat to the devolution settlement which the people of Scotland overwhelmingly voted for in 1997.”
The sides are in a stand off over the powers with the Tories wanting to assess them at Westminster to check they will match with UK-wide rules before passing them north.
Mike Russell insisted the Scottish Parliament would vote against the EU Withdrawal Bill if they didn’t get their way
It means ultimately there is a prospect of the EU Withdrawal Bill not applying in Scotland – leaving holes in the statute book.
But academics believe the battle could eventually end up in the courts.
Following the talks First Secretary of State Damian Green said both sides agreed to work on their positions.
He said there would be further discussions in a few weeks, adding: “We agreed that we need to work on the principles on which we’ll engage.
“We were also united on the aim that the Scottish Parliament has more powers at the end of this process, and on the importance of preserving free trade within the United Kingdom.”
But sources accused the Scottish Government of “whipping up a constitutional crisis out of nothing”.
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