Scottish Parliament ‘should have role in developing post-EU laws’

By Tom Eden, Political Reporter, Press Association Scotland
Committee convened by Bruce Crawford MSP has identified more than 100 areas of EU law as falling within the devolved competence of Holyrood.

The Scottish Parliament should have a role in adapting laws and regulations in areas currently governed by the EU after Brexit, a committee convenor has said.

MSPs have called for the opportunity to scrutinise and agree on all policy areas, rather than having them “imposed” on devolved governments.

Holyrood’s Finance & Constitution Committee has been examining the issue of “common frameworks” – establishing policy and regulatory approaches which are currently controlled by the European Union.

The committee has identified 111 areas of EU law as falling within the devolved competence of the Scottish Parliament in addition to 12 reserved areas subject to ongoing discussions between the UK and devolved governments.

Finance and Constitution Committee convener Bruce Crawford MSP said: “If the UK exits from the EU, under whatever terms, common frameworks will be required to deliver common policy and regulatory approaches in some areas currently governed by the EU.

“The parliaments and assemblies of the UK are key to providing transparency, scrutiny and accountability, so we’re firmly of the view that the Scottish Parliament should have a formal role in relation to the process for developing, agreeing and implementing legislative and non-legislative common frameworks.

“We strongly believe that common frameworks must be arrived at through agreement and not imposed.”

Scottish Greens constitution spokesman Patrick Harvie MSP said: “It beggars belief, in the week we were supposed to be leaving the EU, that we’re still missing vital detail on how things will work between different parts of the UK if Brexit does go ahead.

“Once again, it shows how the devolved nations have been ignored throughout.

“The report also shines a light on the risks which will come if the Brexiteers’ deregulation agenda is inflicted on our social and environmental protections. Holyrood urgently needs the power to protect Scotland against this threat.”

A UK Government spokeswoman said: “The UK and Scottish governments are in agreement that common frameworks will be required once we leave the EU – we will continue to work closely together on this and on the role of the Scottish Parliament.

“We have been clear that common frameworks must be arrived at through agreement, not imposed, and we are making good progress on that basis.”