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SNP's request for emergency Brexit debate rejected

The UK Government has not met with devolved administrations since February.

David Davis: Brexit secretary 'violated rules' (file pic). <strong>PA</strong>
David Davis: Brexit secretary 'violated rules' (file pic). PA

An SNP request for an emergency debate on the role of devolved administrations in Brexit has been rejected.

The party’s Westminster group leader Ian Blackford accused the UK Government of ignoring its Scottish and Welsh counterparts by not holding a joint ministerial meeting with them since February as he called for the matter to be discussed in Parliament.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Blackford said: “With Parliament being on the cusp of debating the European (Withdrawal) Bill, the House should take note that the UK Government has not held a joint ministerial committee (JMC) with the governments of the devolved nations since February 8 of this year.”

He said the Scottish and Welsh Governments wrote to Brexit secretary David Davis in June asking for a meeting, but that the request had not been granted – which he said was in “direct violation” of the JMC rules.

“It is completely unacceptable that the UK Government is ignoring both the Welsh and Scottish governments’ request for a JMC meeting,” he said.

Mr Blackford said it was “important” to discuss the matters in the Commons before the repeal bill is debated on Thursday.

Declining the request, deputy speaker Dame Rosie Winterton said she had “listened carefully” to the application but was “not persuaded” that it should be debated under Standing Order 24.

She said: “The Standing Order requires me to have regard to the probability of the matter being brought before the House in time by other means.”


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