United Kingdom and Scottish ministers in Brexit powers talks

Carwyn Jones

"I think some powers can be devolved at the point of Brexit", Mr Green said in Edinburgh today.

Back in March, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called for a new independence referendum in Scotland, which was received negatively by British Prime Minister Theresa May, members of her Cabinet and MPs.

"It's hugely in the interests of people in Scotland that we do reach a successful conclusion", Green said on Thursday morning.

Ms Davidson, who has spearheaded a Tory revival north of the border, said it is time for her party to have a "meaningful and sustained" discussion on the issue.

Mr Green and Mr Russell held talks in Edinburgh on Wednesday, along with Scottish Deputy First Minister John Swinney and Scottish Secretary David Mundell.

The SNP politicians are expected to tell Green that Scotland demands full control over fisheries, farming, justice, policing, and environmental law after Brexit, according to The Guardian.

The powers, which are now controlled or influenced by the European Union, will be handed back to Britain after March 2019.

The Scottish government remains sceptical, with Michael Russell arguing the Repeal Bill represents "a fundamental attack on the principles of devolution".

The legislation to formally remove the United Kingdom from the European Union will not be changed by Westminster, a senior member of Theresa May's Cabinet has said despite threats from SNP ministers to refuse consent for the Bill as it stands.

"The UK Government is pursuing an extreme Brexit which will damage jobs and the economy by forcing us out of the world's biggest market-place". "Regrettably, the Bill does not do this".

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"Instead we have an attempted power grab which must be abandoned".

In a statement before the meeting, carried by The Guardian, Russell renewed this threat.

"As we have made clear, we are not opposed in principle to UK-wide frameworks in certain areas - but this must be on the basis of agreement among equals, not imposed by Westminster".

Russell added that, while the Scottish Government accepts it lacks the power to block Brexit, any attempt to override Scottish parliamentary consent would be a "direct threat to devolution".

However, Green said that the government was committed to granting further powers to Scotlans as a result of Brexit and had "absolutely the opposite of the intention of a power grab". These motions relate to the convention that devolved administrations must give consent to legislation on matters that they would ordinarily have sovereignty over, under the so-called "Sewel Convention". The UK Parliament in Westminster has legislative supremacy over all of the devolved administrations.

Although Holyrood can not to block the Bill or Brexit, if MSPs withheld legislative consent it would be unprecedented for Westminster to ignore them and press on regardless.

However, any refusal to consent will have political implications that a minority government under a weakened May would likely struggle to endure.

Green implied that Sturgeon's team was guilty of brinksmanship and posturing because a delay in implementing the Scottish elements of the repeal bill could have serious legal and industrial consequences.

A Lords Constitution Committee warned earlier this year the Great Repeal Bill will "involve a massive transfer of legislative competence from Parliament to government".

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