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The Secretary of State for Scotland the Rt Hon David Mundell was on BBC Radio Scotland this morning talking about the talks between Westminster and Holyrood concerning the amendments which may be required to the EU Withdrawal Bill.

You can listen to his comments here when he suggested there was broad agreement on the amendments.

The bill has gone through the House of Commons and is now at The House of Lords stage.

Photo of David Mundell by John Preece

 

The Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe Michael Russell said it was “completely wrong” for the UK Government to say there is “general agreement” between the UK and Scottish Governments on how the EU Withdrawal Bill should be amended.

Mr Russell said: “It is simply not the case that we are in ‘general agreement on the shape’ of the changes needed to the EU Withdrawal Bill – and it is completely wrong to claim so.

“As far back as September the Scottish and Welsh Governments published amendments to the bill that would have protected devolution, and which would have formed the basis of an agreement.

“Those amendments were rejected by the UK Government, but despite making a firm commitment to bring forward changes to the crucial clause 11 of the bill, it has failed to do so.

“The fact is, after months of discussions, the UK Government has not yet brought forward any amendment and has rejected the only proposal that has been tabled.  Making incorrect claims can only damage the process.

“The EU Withdrawal Bill as currently drafted will mean the UK Government taking control of what are clearly devolved policy areas – and on that basis the Scottish Parliament has agreed on a cross-party basis that the bill is incompatible with devolution.

“The UK Government at present is still intent on pressing ahead with a bill which as it stands does not protect the democratically endorsed devolution settlement – something the Scottish Government could and will never agree to.”

The Committee stage of the bill begins on 21 February 2018.

Read more about the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill 2017-19 here