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Devolved Administrations

Volume 622: debated on Thursday 9 March 2017

The Prime Minister, supported by my Department, will agree the format of negotiations with our counterparts once negotiations have begun. In the meantime, she will be informed by the Joint Ministerial Committee (EU Negotiations), which will ensure that we negotiate the best possible future for the United Kingdom, representing all its constituent parts.

Regarding Scotland’s role in the article 50 process, Supreme Court president, David Neuberger, said on 24 January that it was a political decision whether formally to involve the devolved Administrations in the process of leaving the EU. Will the Minister tell us what role the devolved Parliaments will have in the passing of the great repeal Bill?

Of course, we have formally involved the devolved Administrations in our preparations through the JMC process, and we continue to engage in that process. With regard to the great repeal Bill, a White Paper will be published and the devolved Administrations will have their opportunities to respond to that, as will hon. Members across the House.

When the Government devolve powers that have been repatriated, will they consider allocating extra resources to ensure that those policies are implemented properly?

As we have said, we have not made the final decisions about repatriation. That is something we will want to discuss with the devolved Administrations, as I think the Welsh Government have suggested. The Treasury has already made important guarantees that cover devolved Administrations as well as Government Departments.

In devising plans for Brexit and involving the devolved Administrations, Ministers will have drawn on the advice of a large number of UK and foreign consultancy firms such as Accenture. The Press Association and others want to know how much this has cost. Will the Minister confirm the spend to date on the likes of Accenture, PwC, City legal firms and others in supporting the Government on Brexit?

I am sure all that type of information will be disclosed in the usual way when the Department reports its accounts.