Scottish Devolution and Article 50

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:30 pm on 15th March 2017.

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Photo of Michael Ellis Michael Ellis Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), Deputy Leader of the House of Commons 5:30 pm, 15th March 2017

I would like to make some progress.

In December, the Scottish Government published their proposals for a differentiated settlement in their paper “Scotland’s Place in Europe”. Contrary to much of the narrative on this topic, the United Kingdom Government have repeatedly recognised that paper as a serious contribution to the debate. Michael Russell, the Scottish Government Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe, presented the paper for discussion at the Joint Ministerial Committee on European Negotiations in January, and lots of officials across both Governments have been working intensively and well, both to deepen our understanding and to forge a constructive dialogue between Scotland’s two Governments.

There is common ground between the two Governments, for example on workers’ rights, the rights of European Union nationals and the important issues of criminal justice and counter-terrorism. Those were all key elements in the Prime Minister’s keynote speech at Lancaster House and the subsequent White Paper, and I suggest that they demonstrate that there is much we agree on. We are committed to continuing to work closely with the Scottish Government and other devolved Administrations after article 50 has been triggered.