Scottish parliament votes against giving consent to UK's EU withdrawal bill

  • Scottish parliament votes against giving consent to UK's EU withdrawal bill

Scottish parliament votes against giving consent to UK's EU withdrawal bill

But it has never been forced to overrule Holyrood before, and such a move could spark a constitutional crisis.

Devolution is thrust into uncharted territory, with the very real possibility that Westminster could not pass legislation against the express wishes of Holyrood for the first time since the Edinburgh Parliament was set up in 1999.

MSPs voted by 93 to 30 that Holyrood "does not consent to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill".

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard, who has been calling for cross party talks to resolve the dispute, said: 'This means that the vote on consent for the Withdrawal Bill at Holyrood today need not be the final word on this matter.

The Scottish Tories called on Labour and the Liberal Democrats to join with them in supporting the legislation rather than siding with the SNP.

Scottish Brexit spokesman Neil Findlay said: "Labour stands ready to work with other parties to find a solution".

Mr Russell added: "The Parliament will vote to reject legislative consent for the Withdrawal Bill - not just the Scottish National Party in government, I think all the parties save the Conservatives will actually vote for that".

"And it wants to be able to exercise this power even in the face of an explicit decision by this Parliament that it should not".

Scottish secretary David Mundell said that, although Tuesday's refusal of consent for a Westminster Bill was unprecedented, the 1998 devolution legislation envisaged such a situation.

"The UK Government can not ignore the reality of devolution or try to drown out what this Parliament says".

Plaid AM Adam Price said: "We are joining a very select club of national Parliaments, if we pass this motion today, that have voluntarily chose to cede their own authority".

Russell added that agreement could still be reached, however, if the United Kingdom removed the clause from the bill which automatically transfers those new powers to Westminster.

"The solution, as this Parliament has agreed, is straightforward". MSP Ash Denham said that if Ms May's government valued devolution they would remove clause 11 from the Bill.

Talks between the Scottish Government and Cabinet Office ministers Damian Green and David Lidington have been going on for months to reach a resolution on devolved powers.

The Scottish government says it has "been entirely consistent in public and in private".

That is why in the wake of the vote, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon pledged to seek independence from London and secure the nation's place within the bloc. "It is deeply regrettable that the SNP has refused to take it".

But it would be politically unpopular and fuel the SNP's arguments that Westminster is ignoring the concerns of Scots and pursuing an English hard Brexit.

Nicola Sturgeon has repeatedly made it clear that her government would not support a Bill she described as a "power grab" and instructed her MSPs to vote against it today.