Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Scottish lawmakers reject Brexit bill in headache for May

Scottish lawmakers reject Brexit bill in headache for May

The devolved Edinburgh legislature voted by 93 votes to 30 to deny consent for the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, now going through the national parliament in London, which will cut political, financial and legal ties with the EU.

A constitutional crisis is looming as the Scottish Parliament appears poised to formally refuse to give consent to Theresa May's Brexit legislation.

Such a move would not prevent the UK Government from introducing the legislation - but it would be the first time Westminster has pushed through laws against the wishes of the Scottish Parliament.

"Like a cut that begins with a trickle and develops into an arterial gush, the damage that is Brexit is leaking and spreading", she said.

May is struggling to unite her cabinet over customs arrangements for trade after Brexit, is under threat of a mutiny by some lawmakers and her EU Withdrawal Bill has been torn apart by the House of Lords, the upper chamber of the U.K. Parliament at Westminster.

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Mr Leonard agreed with the Scottish government's position that the parliament should have a veto power over any proposals to keep issues at a United Kingdom level.

It saw the SNP joined by Labour, the Greens and Liberal Democrats in opposing the bill, with only the Conservatives in favour of granting consent.

The row centres on a set of powers which are technically devolved to the Scottish Parliament, but which are now decided at Brussels to ensure rules and regulations are the same across the EU.

"I think people across Scotland, that's what they want: they don't want the bickering, they don't want the hyperbole they saw in yesterday's Scottish parliament debate", he added.

The Scottish Parliament passed its own version of Brexit legislation, called the Continuity Bill, in March by a margin of 95-32 to ensure it retains control of areas that are now devolved after Britain formally leaves the EU.

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The SNP said it would be "outrageous" for the British government to impose the bill on Scotland.

Scottish Tory constitution spokesman Adam Tomkins denied there was a power grab and insisted it was "frankly baffling that we are where we are today".

Sturgeon has rejected claims by May's Scottish Conservative allies that she is trying to "weaponise Brexit" to further her aim of Scottish independence.

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

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