The Brexit freedoms Bill will once and for all take back control of the UK legal system, ending the special status of retained EU law and making it easier for the democratically elected UK Government to amend or remove it. The devolved Administrations have been kept informed of the progress of the reviews into retained EU law that will inform the Bill. The Government have engaged regularly with the DAs on a wide range of EU exit and EU engagement issues and we look forward to continuing that close working relationship.
On Friday 28 January, Ministers of the three devolved Administrations were called to a meeting with the Attorney General at very short notice—the very next day, in fact—to discuss the so-called Brexit freedom Bill, which will have significant impact on hundreds of areas controlled by the devolved Governments. The meeting has been described as
“a rushed exercise…with nothing more than a vague verbal briefing”,
“no effort by the UK government to properly consult devolved governments on the details of the plans nor seek their views on their impacts on devolved areas of policy and law.”
Will the Attorney General make an unequivocal commitment today that the devolved Administrations will be consulted extensively before any further decisions are taken that would affect their existing policies, and specifically in relation to retained EU law?
Of course there will be continued and meaningful engagement with all the devolved Administrations in this process. It is an important opportunity and an important moment for our whole United Kingdom, and I very much look forward to the input of all the DAs.