David Mundell: Devolution settlements will be changed by Brexit
Brexit could lead to more powers being devolved to Holyrood, the Scottish Secretary has hinted.
SNP MPs pressed David Mundell to set out what the UK’s divorce from Brussels will mean for the Scottish Parliament as they sought assurances that powers will not be taken back by Westminster.
Mr Mundell said no powers currently exercised by the Scottish Government will be “re-reserved” as a result of Brexit and that leaving the EU “should be seen as an opportunity for Scotland”.
He also appeared to leave the door open to the possibility of Westminster handing over more control to the devolved administration.
SNP Glasgow North West MP Carol Monaghan asked during Scotland questions: “Given that Brexit continues to be billed as taking back control, can the Secretary of State tell us which powers that are currently controlled by Brussels will the UK Government commit to giving to Holyrood and which will be re-reserved to Westminster?”
Mr Mundell replied: “It’s self-evident that, because the devolution settlements within the United Kingdom are predicated on the basis that the United Kingdom was a member of the European Union, then those devolution settlements will be changed by the United Kingdom leaving the EU and those will be matters which will be subject to debate and discussion.”
Patrick Grady, SNP MP for Glasgow North, then asked the Scottish Secretary to clarify if that meant that currently devolved powers could be taken away from Holyrood.
“I’m not entirely certain the Secretary of State answered that question,” he said.
“Will you categorically rule out that powers will not be re-reserved to this Parliament as a result of the decision to leave the European Union?”
Mr Mundell said: “No, what I can say is that no powers which are currently exercised by the Scottish Parliament will be re-reserved to this Parliament as a result of the United Kingdom leaving the EU.”