The Scottish Parliament passed the Continuity Bill on Wednesday 21st March.
After accepting several amendments to strengthen the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Legal Continuity) (Scotland) Bill it was passed overwhelmingly with 95 votes for and 32 against with Liberal Democrat Mike Rumbles voting with the Tories. There were no abstentions.
This means that if the Scottish Parliament does not consent to the terms laid down in the UK Parliament’s EU (Withdrawal) Bill then the Scottish Parliament’s Continuity Bill will be implemented.
In the Assembly of Wales a similar continuity Bill “Law Derived from the European Union (Wales) Bill” was also passed overwhelmingly on the 21st of March 2018.
Michael Russell, the Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe, in the Scottish Government who has steered the Bill through the 3 stages of Parliament said:
“I am delighted that the majority of the Scottish Parliament has come together to support devolution. The process of working through, and improving this bill, has been a credit to our national parliament and demonstrates the strength of feeling over this issue.
“The parliament has been clear that it could not recommend consent to the UK Government’s EU Withdrawal Bill, as it stands, as it allows the UK Government to unilaterally take control of devolved powers.
“We are still committed to discussions with the UK Government. We now expect them to acknowledge the overwhelming view expressed by the Scottish Parliament – and the Welsh National Assembly – and come forward with proposals that respect the devolution settlement and allow us to come to an agreement.”
In the UK Parliament the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19 is now being examined by committees in the House of Lords. The House of Commons passed the Bill: For: 324 Against: 295 on 17th January 2018.