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Devolved Matters

Volume 624: debated on Thursday 27 April 2017

9. What discussions he has had with the Attorney General on which provisions in the great repeal Bill may require the Government to legislate on devolved matters before the UK leaves the EU. (909878)

We have regular discussions with ministerial colleagues, including my right hon. and learned Friend the Attorney General. We fully respect the Sewel convention and have been working closely with the devolved Administrations, particularly through the Joint Ministerial Committee on EU Negotiations.

Before asking my last question in this House, may I thank you, Mr Speaker, your staff, and the outstanding House staff across all areas, and wish colleagues right across the House every success in the coming months?

Can the Minister confirm whether the great repeal Bill will require legislative consent from the devolved Assemblies—yes or no?

Similarly, Mr Speaker, may I express my best wishes to the hon. Lady for the future?

The question of whether a legislative consent motion will be required for the great repeal Bill will of course depend on the form and content of the great repeal Bill, which will be published in the next Parliament.

Has my right hon. Friend received a report on the Scottish Affairs Committee’s visit to Brussels on Monday and Tuesday this week? If so, does he share my delight that it was made absolutely clear throughout those discussions that the European Union is interested only in negotiating with the United Kingdom Government and not with the Scottish Government?

Yes, I did note that. The position is quite clear—it is member states that negotiate with the European Union. Given that this country voted as a single country to leave the European Union, we should be expecting the support of the Scottish National party and not what it is doing at the moment.

18. Actually, by the Tories’ logic, Scotland voted twice to remain in the European Union because they told us in 2014 that a vote against independence was a vote to remain in the European Union. Statutory instruments are not usually subject to a legislative consent motion, but if statutory instruments that affect devolved areas are going to be created as a result of the great repeal Bill, will the Government commit to ensuring that there is consent from the devolved Assemblies before they take effect? (909889)

It is very likely that the necessary competencies will be created to allow the devolved Assemblies themselves to make those statutory instruments.

Many have criticised the Government’s plans to make minor and technical changes to legislation using so-called Henry VIII powers, but this is in fact no more than plans to use delegated legislation. Does my right hon. Friend agree that the use of delegated legislation is actually an established part of the legislative procedures used in this House?

Yes, my hon. Friend is entirely right. Any such statutory instruments would be made pursuant to statute, which would of course go through this House and the other place in the normal way.