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Brexit Minister urges MSPs to back changes to repeal bill

17 Juillet 2017

Nicola Sturgeon made a joint announcement with Carwyn Jones, the Welsh first minister, last week condemning the proposals as "a naked power grab" by Westminster.

Scotland's Brexit Minister Mike Russell has urged MSPs to back calls for changes to the repeal bill to guarantee protection for devolved powers.

The shadow Brexit Secretary, Sir Keir Starmer MP, has said Labour is "putting the Government on notice" it may vote against the Bill, and possible weakening of environmental protections are top of the party's agenda.

Now, Scotland's Brexit Minister Michael Russell has written to all MSPs seeking support for the Scottish Government's position.

A campaign group has called on the Government to ensure its new Great Repeal Bill protects European Union standards on farm antibiotic use.

He said: "Scotland will stand the best chance of keeping control of its devolved powers if the Scottish government can act with the full backing of our national Parliament". He confirmed the United Kingdom government's intention to forbid Scotland...

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In his letter, Mr Russell highlighted concerns that the bill enables UK-wide frameworks on devolved matters to be "imposed" by the United Kingdom government rather than "agreed" with the devolved administrations.

He adds: "We are also concerned that the scheme in the bill for correcting devolved law is unlikely to be workable in its current form. This includes policy areas, such as the Scottish justice system, where the Scottish Parliament has primary responsibility".

A UK Government spokesman said: "It is the expectation of the Government that the outcome of this process will be a significant increase in the decision-making power of each devolved administration".

"We need to establish a common framework".

"Before the European Union referendum, the Leave campaign repeatedly said that significant new powers would automatically come to the Scottish Parliament - and David Mundell and others have repeatedly assured us since the vote that more powers will be coming to the Scottish Parliament - so where are they?"

He said: "This is not a power grab, it is a power bonanza for the Scottish Parliament because after this bill has been implemented the Scottish Parliament will have more powers and responsibilities than it has today".

Brexit Minister urges MSPs to back changes to repeal bill