Brexit Bill Power Grab: Direct Rule by Stealth

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By Jason Michael

Westminster’s Brexit power grab is not simply the deprivation of “more powers.” It is a death blow to the entire devolution settlement. Killing devolution is London’s new priority. Direct rule is a central feature of its plan to save the union.

Completely ignoring the concerns raised by the Scottish and Welsh governments the London government has pressed ahead with the Repeal Bill, moving it to the second reading and so undermining the entire project of devolution. At the core of the devolution settlement is the assumption that all power save for that explicitly reserved to Westminster is devolved to the national parliaments of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. In legislating to seize all powers repatriated to the UK after Brexit Westminster is turning this settlement on its head.

As the 1998 settlement grants all but reserved powers to the Scottish parliament, the Scottish government’s Brexit minister…

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