After agreeing to cross-party talks, Holyrood votes down Brexit Bill

The Scottish Parliament has refused consent for the EU withdrawal bill, after the Scottish Parliament agreed earlier today to hold cross-party talks to break the deadlock.

The bill was opposed by Scottish Labour, the Scottish Greens, the SNP, and the Liberal Democrats, with only the Tories voting in favour. Deadlock over the talks between the Scottish and British governments meant progress had stalled, but this morning Richard Leonard managed to secure agreement from the Scottish Government that other parties would be included in the discussions, in the hopes of finding a solution.

On the agreement to include other parties, Richard Leonard said:

“This is a welcome commitment by the Scottish Government, and it is now down to the UK Government to follow suit.

“It is clear new ideas and fresh voices are needed to break the deadlock over the EU withdrawal bill.

“People across Scotland want this issue resolved quickly and it is absolutely essential all parties work together to achieve that."

What is in dispute is Clause 11 of the withdrawal bill, which those opposed have called a ‘Brexit power grab.’ It would allow the UK government to alter rules around devolved policy without Holyrood’s consent. This was unacceptable to MSPs, and all of the opposition party leaders, bar Ruth Davidson, made it clear to a Westminster committee last week that they would not stand for it.

Commenting on the Scottish Parliament refusing to consent to the EU Withdrawal Bill, Scottish Labour’s Brexit spokesperson Neil Findlay MSP said:

“As the party that delivered devolution Labour will always seek to defend and strengthen it – and that is why we could not vote to give consent to the EU Withdrawal Bill at this time.

“The Tories shambolic handling of this key area for Scotland is pushing the case towards the Supreme Court.

“The people of Scotland want this mess fixed and even after this vote there is still time to do that.

“It is welcome that both the UK and Scottish Government have agreed to cross-party talks to resolve this deadlock and this must begin urgently.

“Labour stands ready to work with other parties to find a solution.”

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