Earlier this month the Scottish Parliament’s Finance and Constitution Committee stated it could not recommend legislative consent to the UK Government’s European Union Withdrawal Bill in its present form. The Committee believes clause 11 of the Bill is incompatible with the devolution settlement. Their interim report is available here. A final report will be produced on the Bill prior to the final amending stage in the House of Lords.
The Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe), which provides impartial, factual, information and analysis to Members of the Scottish Parliament, has produced a briefing paper explaining what legislative consent is and its legal and political status.
The House of Lords European Union Committee has today published a report looking at the technically complex and politically contentious impact of Brexit on the UK’s devolution settlements and to the fundamental constitutional challenges presented to the United Kingdom as a whole.
“the devolution settlements are built upon UK membership of the EU.
Brexit will remove one of the foundations of the devolution settlements, with potentially destabilising consequences”. (Para. 2)
The report considers whether Scotland could have different Brexit arrangements from the rest of the UK in some areas; the need to protect the Welsh agricultural and manufacturing sector and the distinctive geographical and political issues that Brexit presents to Northern Ireland.
The implications of Brexit for the fishing industry are highly uncertain. Prior to the introduction of a new Fisheries Bill, the House of Commons Library has produced a briefing paper entitled “Brexit: What next for UK fisheries?” on how negotiations with the EU and future UK Government policy may affect fishing in the UK. It is available here.
An earlier briefing paper by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) called Implications of leaving the EU: Fisheries examines issues for the Scottish sea fishing sector. It is available here.
“Higher education in the UK is a world leader but Brexit risks damaging our international competitiveness and the long-term success of our universities. It’s welcome that EU students have been given some guarantees on their funding and loan access but the Government must act urgently to address the uncertainty over EU staff and avert the risk of a damaging ‘brain drain’ of talent from our shores. As we leave the European Union we now have the opportunity to reform our immigration system to ensure we reap the full rewards of the ability of our universities to attract the brightest and best students and staff from across the world.”
The full report is available here, a short summary here and the conclusions and recommendations here.
The UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, has now triggered Article 50, the formal notification that signals the beginning of the two-year period within which a withdrawal agreement will be negotiated between the UK and the European Union.
The full text of her letter to the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, is available here.
The latest version of “Brexit: a reading list of post-EU Referendum publications by Parliament and the Devolved Assemblies” compiled by the House of Commons Library is available here.
Also of interest may be a report commissioned by the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs of the European Parliament’s Directorate-General for Internal Policies of the Union entitled “The Brexit Negotiations: An Assessment Of The Legal, Political And Institutional Situation In The UK” available here.
The Government has stated in the Explanatory Notes, prepared by the Department for Exiting the European Union, for the European Union Notification of Withdrawal Bill that leaving the EU also means leaving the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). The House of House Library has produced a briefing paper examining what Euratom does and the possible implications of leaving for the future of the nuclear industry and nuclear research in the UK. It also looks at the attempts to amend the Bill as it relates to Euratom. You can access the briefing paper here.
The UK Government has today published a white paper entitled The United Kingdom’s exit from and new partnership with the European Union on its proposed strategy to leave the European Union. You can read it here.
If you would like to follow The European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill’s progress through Parliament Aberdeen University members can do so on Public Information Online here or alternatively on the Parliament website here .
There is a handy news section on the House of Commons website to help you keep up-date with what is happening in Parliament here as well as a section on how leaving the EU will affect various policy areas here.
The government’s appeal was dismissed in the Supreme Court yesterday. This means that Parliament has to give its approval before the formal process of leaving the EU can begin. The judgement and summary documents are available here.
The original case was about prerogative powers, defined by the High Court in the original case as “the residue of legal authority left in the hands of the Crown” however as the UK has a sovereign parliament it is argued that prerogative powers cannot be used to overrule legislation. The government argued, however, that it did have the prerogative power to “make and unmake treaties” allowing it to launch the process without requiring an Act of Parliament.