Scotland's Sturgeon warns of "catastrophic" no deal Brexit

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The Scottish government has urged the parliament in Edinburgh to refuse "legislative consent" for the highly contested European Union (Withdrawal) Bill now being debated by lawmakers in London.

Michael Russell, the Scottish government's chief Brexit negotiator, said any attempt to use Brexit to restrict the powers of the Scottish parliament "will be noted here and across Europe".

Sturgeon, the first minister and SNP leader, has decided that consultation is not enough, and insists that her government or Holyrood should be given the legal power to block any changes they disagree with.

Sturgeon, who took the helm of the Scottish National Party after Scots voted to reject independence in a September 2014 referendum, said the idea was far from dead. But, when campaigner Gina Miller challenged the Government over the triggering of Article 50 in the UK Supreme Court, it concluded this was not a rule which could be enforced by the courts, leaving the UK Government able to pass the EU Withdrawal Bill without the consent of Holyrood.

Both governments agree that these policies should be implemented universally across the United Kingdom and that the powers should be shared between the regional governments in London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff.

Welsh and Scottish ministers were working together against the bill before the deal - and the Scottish government remains opposed.

It means consent of the devolved legislatures will be sought for any changes to the powers held in Westminster, but if talks become deadlocked, UK Parliament will have the final say.

Lidington has set out details of 24 areas he said would need to come under Westminster control immediately after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union to avoid short-term confusion in areas such as food hygiene, chemicals and animal welfare, which the Scottish Government says is unacceptable.

"And giving support to the nationalists, they should be ashamed of themselves".

But the Tories hit out, claiming it was "patently obvious that Nicola Sturgeon wants a political crisis to provide cover for her independence drive".

"The danger if I am being less optimistic, or pessimistic, is that the whole process crashes before that can emerge because time is running out and the clock is ticking", she said.

"Let's be clear: Labour and Liberal Democrat support would not amount to backing for the UK Conservative Government".

Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie said MSPs needed to stand against Theresa May and Ruth Davidson's "devolution demolition squad". "It would be even more outrageous if, having seen Holyrood specifically refuse consent to this Bill, the Tories imposed it on Scotland against our will", she said.

Tory MSP Adam Tomkins said: "The Scottish Conservatives will vote to give our consent to the amended Withdrawal Bill today".



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