Holyrood refuses to back Brexit bill

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Jamie Oliver on Scotland's obesity targets

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Jamie Oliver on Scotland's obesity targets

It is the first time the devolved Parliament has withdrawn its stamp of approval for legislation coming from Westminster.

The devolved Edinburgh legislature voted by 93 votes to 30 to deny consent for the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, now going through the national parliament in London, which will cut political, financial and legal ties with the EU.

The Scottish Parliament on Tuesday formally rejected legislation for taking Britain out of the European Union, in an unprecedented move that sets the scene for a constitutional crisis.

Meanwhile, Scottish Liberal Democrat Europe spokesman Tavish Scott said: "The Brexit process has been chaotic and the treatment of the devolved administrations has been shoddy".

The SNP remains at loggerheads with May over whether powers returning to the United Kingdom post-Brexit should be held by Westminster or be sent to Holyrood.

But it has never been forced to overrule Holyrood before, and such a move could spark a constitutional crisis.

The Sewel Convention, which is enshrined in the devolution legislation, states Westminster "would not normally legislate with regard to devolved matters in Scotland without the consent of the Scottish Parliament".

Russell added that agreement could still be reached, however, if the United Kingdom removed the clause from the bill which automatically transfers those new powers to Westminster.

Scottish Brexit Minister Mike Russell will now write to Theresa May's de facto deputy, David Lidington, calling on him come to Scotland and hear "hear the concerns of all parties and to discuss with the Scottish Government and the UK Government any new ideas from any of the parties".

The Scottish Tories have issued a last-ditch appeal for the other Unionist parties to think again about siding with Nicola Sturgeon and withholding consent for the Government's Brexit Bill at a key vote at Holyrood today.

SNP, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green MSPs are all expected to vote against backing the EU Withdrawal Bill, with only the Conservatives set to offer their support.

"My party does not propose or support using the euro, so the options the commission has been looking at: sterling in a currency union, sterling outwith a currency union, or a process that would lead to a distinctive Scottish currency over time", she said.

'The blame for that lies entirely with the SNP.

Scottish Green co-convener Patrick Harvie was also clear his party's MSPs would "not consent to the UK Government's assault on the powers of the Scottish Parliament".

Sturgeon has rejected claims by May's Scottish Conservative allies that she is trying to "weaponise Brexit" to further her aim of Scottish independence.

While Mr Lidington has said he is "open to suggestions that would improve the Bill" the UK Government has repeatedly refused to drop clause 15 - which was formerly clause 11 - from the legislation. "It's not in Scotland's interests that the SNP prefers picking fights to making a deal".

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