Scottish Parliament rejects UK's Brexit bill

Nicola Sturgeon said it was time to scrap the'one size fits all approach to immigration

Nicola Sturgeon said it was time to scrap the'one size fits all approach to immigration

The Scottish Parliament voted by a margin of 93 to 30 not to grant a Legislative Consent Motion (LCM) to the keynote Brexit legislation following the First Minister's warnings that it would lead to a Westminster "power grab".

The vote is not legally binding but it will force the prime minister to make a high-risk decision to impose those power-sharing plans on Scotland or make further concessions to the Scottish government to avoid a crisis.

If no deal between Edinburgh and London can be reached, Westminster has the option of introducing the Withdrawal Bill against the wishes of the Scottish Parliament.

The SNP remains at loggerheads with May over whether powers returning to the United Kingdom post-Brexit should be held by Westminster or be sent to Holyrood. However the UK Government argues it needs to hold some powers - on a temporary basis - to allow common UK arrangements to be set up in areas such as fishing, farming and environmental regulations.

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Past year the Supreme Court ruled that the well established convention of Westminster not normally making laws in devolved areas is merely a political convention, which is not legally enforceable. As the EU Withdrawal Bill covers areas which are devolved to both Scotland and Wales, the parliaments in Edinburgh and Cardiff are required to vote on this.

What are the consequences of the Scottish Parliament refusing its consent?

Scottish Brexit Minister Mike Russell will now write to Theresa May's de facto deputy, David Lidington, calling on him come to Scotland and hear "hear the concerns of all parties and to discuss with the Scottish Government and the UK Government any new ideas from any of the parties".

The Scottish Government argues that all powers not now reserved to Westminster should automatically be devolved.

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The vote meant SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon's move to oppose proposals on post-Brexit power-sharing was passed by the Scottish parliament, which fears May's current proposals would restrict its powers. MSP Ash Denham said that if Ms May's government valued devolution they would remove clause 11 from the Bill. "They have received support from senior Labour and the Liberal Democrat figures in Holyrood and Westminster".

However, this has never happened before, taking the country into uncharted constitutional territory.

The British government will press ahead with the EU Withdrawal Bill despite the Scottish parliament's decision to withhold its consent for the legislation.

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