The Scottish government has threatened to derail the Tories’ Brexit plan, after it was revealed that Holyrood may need to approve a key piece of Theresa May’s Brexit legislation.
The Prime Minister said there is a “possibility” the Repeal Bill, designed to transfer EU laws into UK statute, will need a legislative consent motion (LSM) from the Scottish Parliament.
Speaking in the Commons Queen’s Speech debate, May said the UK and Scottish government’s were considering the issue.
She said: “There is a possibility that a legislative consent motion may be required in the Scottish Parliament.”
If Holyrood declined to pass an LCM, the UK government could make the unprecedented decision to overrule. However, this would likely result in a constitutional crisis between the UK and Scottish adminstrations and a protracted legal challenge.
The Scottish government’s Brexit minister, Mike Russell, said an LCM would not be granted if EU powers for areas such as agriculture, the environment, justice and fisheries, did not come under Holyrood control.
“There can be absolutely no question of the UK Government attempting to reserve powers in devolved areas and the Scottish Government would not recommend the Scottish Parliament consents to such proposals,” he said.
“It is deeply concerning that the UK Government seems to intend that repatriated powers in devolved areas like agriculture should go by default to Westminster, with no clear recognition of the need for the consent of the Scottish Parliament. This is clearly unacceptable.”
First minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, also expressed concerns that the Brexit Bills could “disrespect devolution and constrain the devolved nations”.