Tuesday, 06 March 2018 19:12

“CONTINUITY BILLS WITHIN DEVOLVED COMPETENCE”

LEGAL EXPERTS BACK SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT POSITION
 
Leading Strathclyde University academics Professor Aileen McHarg and Dr Christopher McCorkindale have backed the Scottish Government over the competence of the EU Continuity Bill – after submitting evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Constitution Committee which said they “consider that the Continuity Bills are within devolved competence.”
 

The support follows similar backing last week from leading Glasgow University Law Professor Tom Mullen – a legal expert with a specific research interest in Constitutional Law – who said the Bill was “entirely compatible with European Law”. Professor McHarg and Dr McCorkindale are also experts in Constitutional Law.
 
Commenting, SNP MSP Ash Denham, who sits on Holyrood’s Constitution Committee, said:

“This Bill is vital in protecting the Scottish Parliament's powers - and it is only going forward because the Tories are attempting to take powers away from the Scottish Parliament after Brexit. If they stop the power grab the bill can be withdrawn.

“However, this backing from Professor McHarg and Dr McCorkindale adds more weight to the Scottish Government’s position that the Continuity Bill, along with the Welsh Government’s Continuity Bill, is legitimate and within devolved competence.
 
“As Professor Mullen said last week, this Bill is entirely compatible with European Law and the restrictions in the Scotland Act – and it is shameful that Ruth Davidson’s Tories oppose protecting Scottish devolution on the order of their Westminster bosses.
 
“We must ensure the devolution settlement the people in Scotland voted for is protected and that is what the Continuity Bill does.”
 

Dr McCorkindale and Professor McHarg’s evidence in full: http://www.parliament.scot/S5_Finance/General%20Documents/Christopher_McCorkindale_and_Aileen_McHarg_sub.pdf 
 
Speaking on Scotland Tonight on 27th February 2018, Professor Tom Mullen said:
“On balance I tend to agree with the Scottish Government that this bill is within competence and it’s interesting to note that the Presiding Officer of the Welsh Assembly has taken a similar view of the Welsh bill, which is broadly similar to the Scottish continuity bill.
 
“I think the key thing is if you look at the bill in terms of its purpose and its effect, it’s designed to ensure the continuity of Scots laws in the devolved area, which are derived from European law after Brexit and it won't have any legal effects until after Brexit. So on that basis, I think that it is entirely compatible with European law and with the restrictions in the Scotland Act.”

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