Article 50

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:39 pm on 24th January 2017.

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Photo of David Davis David Davis The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union 12:39 pm, 24th January 2017

Again, I am surprised. I would have thought that, of all people, the Scottish National party would attach great importance to the results of elections to the Scottish Parliament, in which last time the Scottish Conservative party came second under the estimable Ruth Davidson.

To the main point of the hon. Gentleman’s question, I want to make two responses. First, the process we have gone through with all the devolved Administrations—the joint ministerial process—has been going on for some months now, and at the very last monthly meeting we had a presentation from Mike Russell, the Scottish Government Minister, on the Scottish Government’s proposals. We disagreed with some and agreed with some absolutely—for example on the protection of employment law—and some we will debate in the coming weeks and months, most particularly on the point the hon. Gentleman raised: the question of devolution and devolved powers.

The hon. Gentleman knows that I am a devolutionist. I can say to him firmly that no powers existing in the devolved Administrations will come back, but there will be powers coming from the European Union and we will have to decide where they most properly land, whether that is Westminster, Holyrood or wherever. The real issue there is the practical interests of all the nations of the United Kingdom—for example, preserving the single market of the United Kingdom and the United Kingdom’s ability to do international deals. There is a series of matters that are just as important to ordinary Scot as they are to the ordinary English, Welsh or Northern Irish citizen, and that is what we will protect.