Scotland’s MSPs will be asked to vote against giving consent to two UK Government Bills :
The passing of these Bills by the UK Parliament in London will undermine the devolved status of the Scottish Parliament.
When passed it will mean that UK Tory Government Ministers will be able to legislate in matters that are devolved to the Scottish Parliament, including implementing trade agreements in Scotland without Scotland’s Parliament having any say.
Because both these Bills affect devolved matters they require consent from the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish Government is recommending to MSPs that they refuse to do so.
The Scottish Government’s Trade Minister, Ivan McKee said:
“Once again we were not consulted by the UK Government before the introduction of proposed legislation that as currently drafted, bypasses the Scottish Parliament and undermines Scotland’s powers.
“That is deeply disappointing, but sadly no longer surprising.
“Scottish Ministers cannot recommend consent for these two Bills as they disregard the role of the Scottish Parliament and Government – a role enshrined in statute in the devolution settlement – but we have made it clear to UK ministers that we are prepared to work with them to resolve these issues urgently.
“The UK Government’s approach continues to undermine devolution, to renege on promises made ahead of the EU referendum and puts at risk Scotland’s economic interests and needs.”
Ivan McKee has sent a letter to the UK Government Minister for Brexit Opportunities and Government Efficiency, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP outlining the concerns of the Scottish Government. It states:
“it is disappointing and concerning that a draft Bill was not shared with the Scottish Government in advance of its introduction, and that drafting of key elements of clauses relating to cross border procurement, which directly engage the legislative consent process, were not shared with the Scottish Government until the day before introduction. “
The Procurement Bill
“Clause 113 (extent) sets out that the Bill extends to England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The majority of provisions in the bill apply equally to English, Welsh and Northern Ireland contracting authorities”
“The Bill does not make provision for all public procurement in Scotland, but does apply to contracting authorities in Scotland which are either cross-border bodies or exercise wholly reserved functions.” Procurement Explanatory Notes
The Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Bill
Enable the implementation of, and the making of other provision in connection with, the government procurement Chapters of the United Kingdom’s free trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand.
“The Trade (Australia and New Zealand) Bill extends and applies to the whole of the UK.”
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