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 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 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.
This is what the Supreme Court will be considering today in a case expected to last 4 days. Follow it live here.
The case is 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 argues, however, in does have the prerogative power to “make and unmake treaties” allowing it to launch the process without requiring an Act of Parliament.
The Scottish Government is also involved in this case. The Lord Advocate’s intervention proposes that triggering article 50 requires an Act of the UK Parliament and as a result requires a Legislative Consent Motion of the Scottish Parliament as matters devolved to them are involved.
The Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) produces research briefings on a wide range of issues. Intended to assist MSPs in their parliamentary work by providing relevant up-to-date impartial background material the briefing papers are useful to anyone starting to research a current issue.