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David Mundell explains what UKGOV means by consent

Readers will be aware that there is currently a constitutional stalemate between the Scottish and UK governments over the issue of consent.

The short version of this story is that, via the EU(Withdrawal) Bill, the UK government is set to temporarily take powers away from Holyrood. The Scottish Government has reluctantly agreed to this for a short period of time until common frameworks can be agreed as to how these powers should be wielded. The sticking point is that the Scottish Government fears that the UK could unilaterally use those powers without the agreement of Holyrood. A move that goes against the spirit of the devolution settlement.

In this clip from the Finance and Constitution Committee, Scottish Secretary David Mundell doesn’t do a very good job in placating the fears of Holyrood.

The main takeaways from what Mundell says are:
  • consent is given even if all members of the Scottish Parliament reject a Westminster proposal.
  • that Mundell is happy with this partly because Labour also think it’s a reasonable way to define consent; and
  • that this is what Scotland voted for when it rejected independence in 2014.

Enjoy the video.

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autonomyscotland: @@autonomscotlandSupporting Independence As A Way To Create A Vibrant, Fairer And More Representative Scotland.

View Comments (6)

  • Like Mundell, I always thought that a No vote in 2014 was a rubber stamp for Westminster to do as it pleased with Scotland. Unlike Mundell I am not very happy about it, but it is up to former No voters to join the dots between the issues of austerity, tax avoidance, Brexit, Windrush repatriation, the rape clause, etc and the source of these issues.

  • I have never heard anything so blatant in my life.
    Just listened to the whole thing. Amazing how Mundell and his minder can make it obvious that Scotland's consent is not required for a consent decision to be made and yet maintain that it is all a collaborative process where agreement will be sought and nothing at all will change.

    Mundell does not believe that any reasonable person would think that the devolution settlement has been weakened by Westminster being able to take refusal as consent over issues devolved to the Scottish parliament. in fact it is a measure of Westminster's respect for the Scottish parliament. The existing devolution settlement is not being changed. 'We have granted the Scottish parliament income tax in order that the SG might accidentally hang themselves with it and crofting is safe'.

    • The big problem for us that think this is horrific is that many people (based on my experience of those that I live and work with) actually do agree - if pushed to discuss/consider- that the UK parliament should hold sway over our Parliament. They think in terms of Scot Parliament operating only within powers that it has been explicitly given, and that it is rightly in the gift of UK Parliament to give or not to give those powers.
      Makes me weep.

      • I find, anecdotally, that a much bigger problem is that most people don't really care about these things in general. I doubt most folk would even be aware that these constitutional wranglings are occurring at all.

        • You are no doubt correct but it might not take a majority of the punters to take an interest for it to have the desired effect in our favour. Of those taking an interest in this issue what percentage think the UK government is in the right? I suspect there are groups of folk concerned with their own circumstances and motivated to pay attention to some part of what is going on. The smaller farmers worried about CAP payments, fishermen being sold out, attentive punters who support the Scots parliament but who did not support indy last time oot, environmentalists seeing subsidy for renewables cut, folk working in the health service putting up with misinformation from the press. Maybe it all adds up. or maybe the shite needs to hit the fan with brexit before we get enough folk taking an interest. I may be clutching at straws a wee bit..

      • Aye, Donald. I'm with you but still hopeful that the numbers will fall in our favour yet.