Scottish Secretary David Mundell has given the clearest indication yet that the UK Tory Government will overrule Holyrood if consent is refused to legislate on devolved areas.
The Conservative MP told BBC Scotland’s Political Editor Brian Taylor that the rules were clear on the issue.
Asked repeatedly whether Theresa May’s government would overrule the Scottish parliament if Holyrood refused to give consent on devolved areas, Mr Mundell replied: “The rules in relation to the constitutional arrangements in the UK are clear, the rule in relation to the Sewel Convention was clarified in the recent Article 50 Supreme Court case.”
The ‘Sewel Convention’ was the name given to the practice of allowing Westminster to legislate on devolved areas. Crucially, the convention required the Scottish parliament to give its consent.
The statement from David Mundell is the strongest indication yet that the Westminster government intends to seize power over some devolved areas regardless of the Scottish parliament’s wishes, when the UK leaves the EU and powers are returned from Brussels.
The Scottish government stance has the backing of Scottish Labour, Scottish Lib Dems and the Scottish Greens. Only Ruth Davidson’s party back the so-called ‘Power Grab’.
Speaking earlier, MSP Bruce Crawford, who Chairs the Finance and Constitution Committee at Holyrood offered a “reasonable solution” to the situation. The MSP insisted a deal, whereby both sides agreed to be bound by an agreement, would allow an end to the dispute.
He said: “If both governments were treated equally and bound by an agreement then there’s an amicable way through this dispute.
“The Secretary of State told us he trusted the Scottish government, I welcome that. It is now time to put that trust into action.
“Clause 11 should be removed, both governments should be bound by a political, reciprocal agreement and we have a solution.”
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