The UK government’s White Paper of 12 July marked the culmination of the government’s negotiation with itself as it picked cherries even more precisely, like a skilled fruit-picker from the EU on a seasonal contract, on a cloud of rhetoric even more inflated than previously. A special, ambitious, robust, flexible, imaginative deal – yes, that it indeed what we want.
At the same time as Parliament prepares to ‘take back control’ from Brussels, the executive is in fact accruing to itself further control over the legislative process. In this post I address a number of trends – only some of which are a direct consequence of the unique circumstances of Brexit – which suggest a deeper realignment of institutional power within the constitution and a consequent diminution of Parliament’s legislative power.
The Scottish and Welsh Governments worked together closely during their negotiations with the UK Government over those aspects of the EU (Withdrawal) Bill that related to devolution. Despite ultimately choosing different paths, say Hedydd Phylip and Greg Davies, this spirit of cooperation looks set to continue.
The Sewel Convention has historically worked well, says Michael Keating, but Brexit will put it to the test.
A fraught point in the handling of the EU Withdrawal Bill has been the way in which it deals with those competences that are currently both devolved and Europeanized. The UK and devolved governments were initially far apart on this. They have gradually converged in their positions but latest changes are still not enough for the Scottish Government.