Devolution, the repatriation of competences and the great repeal bill

This roundtable, supported by the ESRC’s The UK in a Changing Europe initiative brings together academics, civil servants and other interested parties to discuss the repatriation of competences on the U.K.’s withdrawal from the EU. The day’s discussions will give consideration to which level powers should/will be returned to, the intergovernmental machinery for the exercise of parallel and reserved competences, and the matters that might be expected to be dealt with in the Great Repeal Bill.

Each session begins with an introduction from academics conducting research in these areas, before opening up to a general discussion. Discussion will take place under Chatham House rules. A short report will be produced following the event, which will be circulated to participants, and will be available on the WGC/UKandEU site. No comments made during discussions will be attributable to any particular institution/speaker without explicit permission. The day’s discussions, and the issues they raise will, it is hoped, assist participants in the various ways they will be involved in seeing through the process of Brexit and repatriation.

Academic Convenor:

Dr Jo Hunt, ESRC Senior Fellow, U.K. In a Changing Europe and Cardiff School of Law and Politics/Wales Governance Centre.


10.00am – 10.30 am Arrival and Coffee;

Welcome from Professor Roger Scully, Wales Governance Centre

10.30am – 11.30 am Competence Allocation:The Principles

Dr Jo Hunt, Cardiff University; Dr Elin Royles, Aberystwyth University;

Dr Rosanne Palmer, Cardiff University

Which principles could/should guide the allocation of policy competences in a multi-levelled state. What, as a matter of policy should be reserved to the centre? What do other countries do? What limits are there (or opportunities for) the exercise of external competences by the devolved nations? What would a UK internal market require?

11.30am – 11.45 am Tea/Coffee

11.45am 1.00 pm Exercising Competences in a Multi-levelled State

Professor Aileen McHarg, Strathclyde University; Professor Rick Rawlings, UCL

How are parallel and reserved/non-conferred competences handled currently, and how may these processes develop?  What intra-State institutions are needed, what decision making processes and dispute resolution machinery should be sought, and what is the future for the Sewel Convention?

1.00pm – 1.45 pm Lunch

1.45pm 3.15 pm Repatriating Competences – The Great Repeal Bill from a Devolved Perspective

Professor Gordon Anthony, Queens University Belfast; Professor Alan Page, University of Dundee; Dr Jo Hunt, Dr Huw Pritchard and Manon George, Cardiff University)

What are the different ways the GRB might impact on devolved competences and powers? What steps may be needed to enable the devolved nations to effectively exercise their powers to maintain/amend/repeal EU-derived laws, and what purpose might be served by Continuation Acts?

3.15pm 3.30 pm Concluding comments

For further information please contact Dr Jo Hunt on

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