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Devolution and the Union

UK-EU Relations

This fact was correct when it was updated on 24 Sep 2020

Does the Scottish parliament get a say on the Brexit deal?

Because the Brexit deal was negotiated between the EU and the UK Government, there was no meaningful say for the Scottish Parliament or the other devolved legislatures. Under their devolution settlements, external relations, including with the EU, are a matter for the UK Parliament and government alone. There was no mechanism that would have allowed the devolved institutions to block Brexit or the UK legislation that implemented it. The devolved governments argued they should have had a say, given the impact of Brexit on their interests and the overlap with policy areas that fall within devolved competence. Despite that, in January 2020, the Scottish Parliament passed a motion rejecting the UK government’s Withdrawal Agreement with the EU. However, this had no binding effect on the UK government. All three devolved legislatures – in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – rejected the Withdrawal Agreement.

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