EU Withdrawal Bill rejected by Scotland: What happens next?

Schottland Parlament Abstimmung Brexit Gesetz

Prime Minister Theresa May is under no obligation to amend her Brexit plan if Scotland objects, but experts warn that a confrontation between London and Edinburgh could push Scotland towards independence.

It would be the first time the UK Government has ignored the will of the Scottish Parliament when legislating on devolved matters since its creation in 1999.

The vote meant SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon's move to oppose proposals on post-Brexit power-sharing was passed by the Scottish parliament, which fears May's current proposals would restrict its powers.

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.

PA Wire/PA Images First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during a Scottish Government debate on legislative consent to the European Union withdrawal bill at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

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.

"That is a reasonable and sensible way forward", the Prime Minister said.

Speaking on TalkRadio, Mr Jenkin said: "There's something of a manufactured row here that, of course, the powers that we are talking about were held by the European Union and were never held by the Scottish Parliament. It becomes a bigger issue at the point when the bill is completing its passage through Westminster".

The decision by the Scottish Parliament to refuse to give its consent to the Brexit Bill is a powerful, but largely symbolic, gesture.

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.

While the Scottish Parliament's refusal to back the bill will not legally prevent ministers from pressing ahead, it will increase the tensions of the impact of Brexit on devolved settlements across the UK.

At issue is a bitter dispute between Westminster and Holyrood over powers now held by Brussels, which the SNP wants devolved after Brexit.

The Welsh government agreed to give its consent to the Bill last month but Nicola Sturgeon's government at Holyrood has rejected what it characterises as a unilateral power grab.

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