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Scottish parliament votes down Brexit bill

Friday, 18 May, 2018 - 14:14

The Scottish Parliament rejected a draft British law providing for the exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union on Tuesday, in a move that could lead to a constitutional crisis.

The Edinburgh parliament voted 93 to 30 in favor of a motion that refuses to grant their “consent” to the UK government’s Brexit bill.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon had called the regional parliament to vote against the bill, which should allow the UK to continue to function normally after it cuts the cord with the European Union. It puts an end to the supremacy of European law over British national law and allows for the transposition of European regulations in UK law.

Theresa May will not necessarily have to amend her text following Scotland’s objection. But experts believe that a direct confrontation between London and Edinburgh could push Scotland further towards independence.

Edinburgh’s objection to the Brexit bill boils down to the question of who after Brexit will inherit will inherit the powers currently held by Brussels, including in the ares of fisheries and agriculture.

Scotland wants to recover these competences while the government of Theresa May wants all powers repatriated from the EU to London in order to prevent the devolved governments from adopting different rules, which could disrupt internal British trade. 

The British government can not ignore the reality of devolution or try to drown out what this parliament says, said Michael Russell, the Scottish minister responsible for Brexit negotiations. They can not pretend that no motion has been passed,” he added. “It would be the United Kingdom that broke the trust and the rules, not us. ”

Russell invited UK Minister of State David Lidington to visit Scotland for inter-party talks to try to overcome the stalemate.

Scotland voted 55 percent against independence in a referendum in 2014, but Nicola Sturgeon believes Brexit presents an opportunity to hold a second ballot, given that 62 percent of Scots voted against it.


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