Edinburgh Butting Heads with London Over Transfer of EU Power
The people of the United Kingdom voted in 2016 to leave the European Union. The controversial results have left many wondering what the post-EU UK could look like.
The majority of Scots wanted to stay, but the English majority of the country wishing to leave, relegated those hopes. Now, in October 2017, the Scottish National Party is claiming that London is conducting a political power grab.
Both sides agree progress has been made in the Brexit talks, specifically a set of principles has been drawn up, which is the first agreement made between Edinburgh and London since the Brexit vote.
Along with English and Scottish representatives, Welsh and Northern Irish delegates also took part in the talks. The agreement has been given the name the EU Withdrawal Bill.
However, there is little doubt that there is much work ahead for Prime Minister Theresa May’s government, and their northern counterparts. Mike Russell, Scotland’s Brexit Minister, claims that the Withdrawal Bill still amounted to a power grab.
This is despite the fact that Damien Green, First Secretary of State, after meeting with David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, told the press that such talk was behind the two parties.
The main issue for Scotland is the fact that Prime Minister May’s government insists on taking all repatriated EU powers to London first for a decision, not allowing Edinburgh a say.
London argues that such a measure is necessary to develop and maintain a common framework. For example, the British government does not want for their agricultural industry to fracture at the English-Scottish border.
Despite the hang-up, Scottish Secretary David Mundell sees these most recent meetings, the first for eight months, a big step forward. He added that the agreed-upon principles will go far to ensure that the Scottish Parliament will be involved in any UK-wide legislative decisions.
Mr. Mundell did, however, acknowledge that the Bill in its current form would not be acceptable for the Scottish people. He also, much like his peers, described the behavior of the May government in this matter as a ‘power grab’.
With Brexit set to officially take place on March 29, 2019, meaning the two sides have time to reach further agreements. However, it is unclear at this time just how the British government plans to include the less-populous regions of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in the transition.