Wales, Scotland to pose challenge to May’s Brexit plans: Report
Wales and Scotland will launch a challenge to British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plans this week, a report says.
On Monday, lawmakers are expected to approve the EU (Withdrawal) Bill, which would repeal the 1972 European Communities Act and convert directly-applicable EU laws and regulations into UK law.
In documents to be formally submitted Tuesday, the two countries’ governments confirm their intention to withhold consent for May’s approach to EU withdrawal unless it is radically changed.
The two governments argue that a key piece of the legislation will give London authority over key policy areas and enable Conservative ministers to meddle with other laws.
May’s bill will make it possible for Whitehall to “hijack” powers during Brexit process that should be passed to Cardiff, according to Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones.
“The UK Government is being rigid in its approach. It’s saying there is only one way. It’s acting as if it won a majority at the election in June. It didn’t,” Jones told The Independent.
“We will not consent to the bill as it is, and if they plough on that will spark a difficult constitutional problem. The House of Lords will also take a dim view of the UK Government ignoring the wish of democratically elected assemblies.”
One source in Cardiff said “this piece of legislation is so offensive that there is no point in holding back,” adding, “this sort of behavior is the kind of thing that can fracture relations between countries.”
According to legal advice quoted in both Edinburgh and Cardiff, the British Government needs consent from both countries for parts of the bill and Brexit Secretary David Davis has already said he would seek it.
The UK is currently due to leave the EU at the end of March 2019 after nearly 52 percent of Britons opted to leave the bloc during the EU referendum in June last year.
The Brexit process was formally triggered on March 29 and divorce negotiations officially began on June 19.