Scottish ministers look to prevent “power grab” from UK government after Brexit

Scottish ministers are looking to prevent a “power grab” by Westminster after Brexit.

Scotland’s Brexit minister, Micheal Russell, as well as Scotland’s deputy first minister, John Swinney, are set to hold talks with the first secretary of state Damian Green in Edinburgh.

The Scottish government has expressed concerns over a Westminster “power grab” as EU laws return to the UK following Brexit.

It has warned that Holyrood may not grant consent to the so-called Great Repeal Bill, designed to transfer EU laws into UK legislation.

Russell said the bill’s current form would give Westminster “exclusive control over significant areas of devolved policy”, including the environment, agriculture and fishing.

He said: “We know that the UK Government has its eye on more than 100 policy areas. That is a direct threat to the devolution settlement which the people of Scotland overwhelmingly voted for in 1997.

“Both we and the Welsh government have made it clear we could not recommend legislative consent to the Bill as it stands, and today we will make clear that changes must be made to protect devolution.”

Green said there was a need for dialogue.

He said: “In some areas there will need to be a common approach.

“There will be other areas where I intend that the Scottish and UK governments can make progress in identifying policy areas that could be released to Holyrood under the new legislative arrangements.

“We expect there will be a significant increase in the decision-making power of each devolved administration and we want to address this in a way which delivers certainty and continuity for people and businesses across the UK.”