Scotland parliament rejects Brexit legislation; potential for constitutional clash with London

Scottish Parliament poised to reject EU Withdrawal Bill amid devolution row

The Scottish Parliament is on course for a consitutional crisis after MSPs refused to consent to the United Kingdom government's EU Withdrawal Bill.

Scottish Government ministers claim the EU Withdrawal Bill, as it now stands, could see Holyrood's powers constrained for up to seven years after the United Kingdom leaves the EU. The U.K. can disregard the vote, but it would be the first time London asserts its dominance over the regional parliament.

The EU Withdrawal Bill seeks to transfer all existing European legislation into domestic United Kingdom law, but aspects dealing with the return of devolved powers have proved controversial.

The British government said it would refer the bill to legal officers and a hearing is scheduled for July in the Supreme Court unless agreement can be found before then.

In a speech invoking the birth of Holyrood nearly two decades ago, Scottish Brexit minister Mike Russell declared: "There is a Scottish Parliament and its voice must be heard".

David Mundell said he was frustrated and disappointed after Holyrood decided by a large majority to withhold its consent to the European Union bill because it could allow United Kingdom ministers to impose policies on Scotland without Holyrood's agreement.

"To protect those means because the people of Scotland themselves chose them - and they chose us to protect them".

While the Scottish Parliament's refusal to back the bill will not legally prevent ministers from pressing ahead, it will increase the tensions of the impact of Brexit on devolved settlements across the UK.

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He will call on him come to Scotland and hear "hear the concerns of all parties and to discuss with the Scottish Government and the UK Government any new ideas from any of the parties".

European Union negotiators have rejected both options and Conservative Brexiteers have criticised the prime minister's favoured option of a customs partnership as unworkable and inconsistent with regaining full sovereignty from Brussels.

"Labour know perfectly clearly what the position of the Scottish Parliament is and, of course, Labour will have the chance to influence that themselves on Tuesday when I hope the whole parliament will say the power grab is unacceptable".

Nicola Sturgeon has suggested the Scottish Parliament vote could be "overturned" if a deal is reached.

"I think it is right that we go ahead with measures that not only respect devolution, but ensure we maintain the integrity of our common market".

MSP Ash Denham said that if Ms May's government valued devolution they would remove clause 11 from the Bill.

Scotland voted against independence by 55 percent in a referendum in 2014, but Sturgeon insists she has a mandate to hold a second vote since Scotland voted against Brexit by 62 percent in 2016.

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