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Leaving the EU: UK Legal Systems

Volume 628: debated on Thursday 14 September 2017

4. What assessment he has made of the potential effect of the UK leaving the EU on the functioning of the different national legal systems in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. (900857)

The Ministry of Justice has had recent contact at ministerial and official level with counterparts in the devolved Administrations; they discussed how we work together on matters relating to Brexit that will affect the different legal systems in the devolved Administrations of Scotland and Northern Ireland. The Government have also engaged with Welsh counterparts to update them on matters affecting justice.

The president of the Law Society of Scotland has said that there needs to be a “whole of governance” approach to the UK withdrawal from the EU that takes into account the devolved Administrations. Does the Solicitor General agree with that statement?

Yes, I do, which is why the Government are taking an approach that will ensure the required continuity and certainty, so that, where necessary, a UK-wide approach will be taken and, where appropriate, there will be devolution to the devolved Assemblies and Parliaments.

Will the Solicitor General take this opportunity to reassure the House and Opposition Members that the leaders of all the devolved Administrations, in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast, when we have one there, will be consulted and respected on the broader issues of Brexit, including those relating to his office?

I am happy to give that assurance and that is reflected in the bilateral work of government, where there is continuing dialogue at official and ministerial level. This is all about mutual respect and getting the best outcome, not only for Britain, but for all its constituent parts.