Supreme Court Brexit row: Holyrood '˜gazumped' by Westminster

The SNP's justice spokeswoman at Westminster has said she fears the Scottish Government has been 'gazumped' in its Supreme Court battle with the UK Government '“ but said the case had confirmed Brexit had led to a 'power grab' against the Scottish Parliament.

Sunday, 29th July 2018, 12:39 pm
Updated Sunday, 29th July 2018, 1:12 pm
The SNPs justice spokeswoman at Westminster has said she fears the Scottish Government has been gazumped in its Supreme Court battle with the UK Government. WikiCommons

Joanna Cherry said there was a “huge disconnect” between the UK Government’s denials that its flagship Brexit legislation represents a power grab, and the arguments advanced by Advocate General for Scotland Lord Keen at the Supreme Court this week.

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Supreme Court Brexit challenge: '˜UK Parliament is sovereign, not Holyrood'
The SNPs justice spokeswoman at Westminster has said she fears the Scottish Government has been gazumped in its Supreme Court battle with the UK Government. WikiCommons

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Seven justices at the UK’s highest court are expected to rule later this year on whether the Scottish Parliament’s Continuity Bill, which asserts Holyrood’s control over 24 disputed powers in devolved areas returning from Brussels after Brexit, is constitutional.

Keen argued that Holyrood had attempted to “modify” the provisions of Westminster’s EU Withdrawal Act, which sets out how European law will be transferred into British statute on Brexit day.

Cherry said that despite being passed by MSPs before the EU Withdrawal Act completed its passage through Westminster, the Continuity Bill was prevented from receiving Royal Assent by the legal challenge from Whitehall.

It means that while the Continuity Bill is not yet law, the UK Government was able use amendments in the House of Lords to have its own Brexit bill added to Schedule 4 of the Scotland Act, a list of protected legislation that cannot be modified by the Scottish Parliament.

Edinburgh South West SNP MP Joanna Cherry