Warnings that ministers could make ‘power grab’ in devolved areas after Brexit
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Ministers could make undemocratic 'power grabs' in devolved areas after Brexit, a new report warns.
Analysis by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) states new powers in devolved policy areas will be handed to Scottish ministers under the Prime Minister's Withdrawal Agreement Bill to ensure it is properly implemented.
But the powers will also be conferred on UK ministers, allowing them to act "alone or jointly with Scottish ministers", according to SPICe.
It means the powers granted to UK ministers in the bill will extend to the whole of the UK and relate to both reserved and devolved matters.
The SPICe document states: "The new powers conferred on Scottish ministers are also conferred on UK ministers to act alone or jointly with Scottish ministers.
You may also want to watch:
"As a result, the powers granted to UK ministers in the Withdrawal Agreement Bill extend to the whole of the UK and relate to both reserved and devolved matters.
"Consequently, the powers allow UK ministers, acting alone, to make provision in devolved policy areas."
- 1 Tory MP blames 'chaotic parents' for children going to school hungry
- 2 Boris Johnson 'hid in bedroom' to avoid grilling on Brexit stance days before becoming PM
- 3 Danny Dyer praised for criticisms of Tory party - pointing out Etonians can't run the country
- 4 George Osborne says it is 'game over' for Boris Johnson over free school meals
- 5 Tory MP says policies no longer match 'principles on which millions have backed us'
- 6 UKIP set to select 'Dr Gammons' as candidate for London mayoral election
- 7 Liz Truss' department slammed for false claim about cost of soy sauce after Brexit
- 8 Andy Burnham could have been 'halfway through tenure as PM by now', claims commentator
- 9 Minister sparks concerns about pig semen after Brexit
- 10 Brexiteer in lockdown denial over 49% drop in constituency Covid-19 cases
It adds: "This approach mirrors the current arrangements outlined in the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.
"On this issue, the UK government's Delegated Powers Memorandum states that in respect of most of the powers set out below, whilst the UK government can use these powers in areas of devolved competence, it will not normally do so without the agreement of the devolved administrations.
"The powers granted to devolved administration ministers in the Withdrawal Agreement Bill relate only to making provisions within their areas of devolved competence."
A UK government memorandum suggests although it could use the powers in areas of devolved competence, it would not normally do so without the consent of those administrations.
SNP MSP Tom Arthur said: "It's deeply troubling that Westminster has ploughed ahead with an undemocratic power grab - threatening Holyrood's powers under the guise of Brexit.
"Far from taking powers back to Westminster, the clear view of the Scottish electorate is that more decisions should be made at Holyrood to create a fairer, more prosperous country.
"While the Tories think they can do what they want to Scotland, we must be clear that is not the case."
Arthur added the candidates in the Scottish Tory leadership electionnshould tell the prime minister to keep his "hands off" devolved powers.
"This will be an early test in the Scottish Tory leadership battle - the candidates should stand up to their Westminster bosses, and tell Boris Johnson to keep his hands off the powers Holyrood has held for two decades," he said.
"The SNP will seek to amend the Bill to stop this power grab, and all parties at Holyrood must stand firmly against any attempts to erode the hard-won powers of our Scottish parliament."
A UK government spokesman said: "The Bill does not take any powers away from Scottish government that are already devolved, or prevent them from acting in devolved areas.
"This Bill is entirely in keeping with the devolution settlement and includes important powers for Scottish ministers to efficiently implement the Withdrawal Agreement in areas of devolved competence."
They added: "The UK government has committed to not normally using these powers without the consent of the devolved administrations."
Become a Supporter
The New European is proud of its journalism and we hope you are proud of it too. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.