European Union (Withdrawal) Bill

Cabinet Office written question – answered on 25th July 2017.

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Photo of Deidre Brock Deidre Brock Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Devolved Government Relations), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Fair Work and Employment), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Northern Ireland)

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office, what discussions he (a) has had and (b) plans to have with the devolved administrations on areas of devolved competence in the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.

Photo of Chris Skidmore Chris Skidmore Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Cabinet Office)

We have been clear from the start that the devolved administrations should be fully engaged in our preparations to leave the EU. Close and constructive working between the UK Government and devolved administrations in all areas affected by EU exit will be required, including those where negotiations intersect with policies areas which are devolved.

The First Secretary of State has written to the First Minister of Wales and the Deputy First Minister of Scotland, whilst senior officials have written to the interim Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, to instigate discussions on where future common approaches are needed. Subsequently, the First Secretary of State has also spoken to the First Minister of Wales and the Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe. He will be speaking to the Deputy First Minister for Scotland imminently.

The Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union has also met and written to his counterparts in the Scottish and Welsh Governments, and the Government shared the draft Bill with the devolved administrations before it was introduced.

Over the summer it is our intention that further Ministerial and official meetings will take place. They will discuss where lasting common approaches are needed and where a common approach is not required. As a result of this process the Government expects there will be a significant increase in the decision-making power of each devolved administration.

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