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Montevideo, September 25th 2018 - 23:42 UTC

Scottish Brexit minister calls for “basic answers” to the UK/EU deal

Tuesday, December 12th 2017 - 08:33 UTC
Full article 2 comments
The meeting comes after Theresa May made an agreement with European leaders to allow negotiations to proceed. The meeting comes after Theresa May made an agreement with European leaders to allow negotiations to proceed.
However, Mr Russell said there was still “huge uncertainty” about the deal and what it could mean for Scotland. However, Mr Russell said there was still “huge uncertainty” about the deal and what it could mean for Scotland.
The Joint Ministerial Committee in London will be attended by First Secretary of State Damian Green and Brexit Secretary David Davis for the UK government. The Joint Ministerial Committee in London will be attended by First Secretary of State Damian Green and Brexit Secretary David Davis for the UK government.

Scottish Brexit minister Mike Russell has called for “basic answers” about the deal struck with European leaders ahead of talks with UK ministers. Mr Russell is in London for a summit with members of the UK government and the other devolved administrations.

 The meeting comes after Theresa May made an agreement with European leaders to allow negotiations to proceed. However, Mr Russell said there was still “huge uncertainty” about the deal and what it could mean for Scotland.

The Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC) meeting in London will be attended by First Secretary of State Damian Green and Brexit Secretary David Davis for the UK government.

The prime minister has told MPs that the agreement to move on to the next phase of Brexit talks was “good news” for both Leave and Remain supporters, saying she was targeting a trade deal which is “right for the UK”.

But Mr. Russell has written to Mr. Green ahead of the meeting calling for “clarity” on what the deal to avoid a hard border in Northern Ireland could mean for the rest of the UK.

He said: “We welcome any positive progress in the Brexit talks, but there remains huge uncertainty following last week's announcement in Brussels.

”The UK government insists it will remove Scotland from the world's most lucrative marketplace - the European single market of 500 million people. But we have no answers on a replacement trade deal, the cost to jobs and living standards or whether last week's exit deal is legally binding. We need these basic answers now.“

Mr Russell said he was seeking ”urgent clarity“ on what the deal agreed in Brussels could mean for areas like agriculture and state aid, saying: ”Any special arrangements for Northern Ireland must also be available to the other UK nations - otherwise we risk being placed at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to jobs and investment“.

The Scottish government has yet to put forward the EU Withdrawal Bill, a key piece of Brexit legislation, for a consent vote at Holyrood - and Mr Russell said the ”confusion of recent days has, if anything, made it harder to see how agreement might be reached“ over that.

The two governments are at odds over what happens to powers which are currently not reserved to Westminster, but which are exercised from Brussels, after the UK leaves the EU.

Welsh ministers have joined their Scottish counterparts in describing the original plan, to bring the powers back to Westminster in the first instance before deciding on UK-wide frameworks for some, as a ”power grab” of devolved responsibilities.

Both devolved governments said they wanted amendments to be made before they would recommend the Scottish and Welsh parliaments gave their consent to the bill - something that Scottish Secretary David Mundell told MPs would happen later in the legislative process.

However, Mr. Mundell claimed the planned changes to clause 11 of the bill were down to the lobbying of Scottish Conservative MPs, rather than the efforts of Labour or the SNP.

Categories: Economy, Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • The Voice

    Its very simple, whatever is agreed will mean the same for Scotland as it means for England. And, if Scotland wants to leave the UK the Scottish Parliament needs to vote to hold another referendum.

    Dressing up these questions to conceal a Remain agenda just doesnt wash.

    Dec 12th, 2017 - 08:55 am 0
  • JFrench

    The question is why is this piece appearing in Mercopenguin, a British government propaganda organ supposedly devoted to America, South America and the “South Atlantic”?

    Dec 13th, 2017 - 03:18 am 0
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