MUNDELL CONFIRMS BREXIT POWER GRAB

SCOTTISH SECRETARY ACCUSED OF MISLEADING PUBLIC OVER TRADE BARRIERS CLAIM

David Mundell has today confirmed the Tories’ plans for a Brexit power grab – admitting that the UK government plans to seize control over devolved powers for the first time since devolution.

During the EU referendum, the Leave campaign promised that “major” powers over areas such as agriculture “would automatically be devolved to Holyrood, not Westminster”.

And despite David Mundell promising a “powers bonanza”, he and other Tory representatives have repeatedly been unable to name a single power that will come to Holyrood.

Speaking in Paraguay, Mr Mundell is expected to admit that the UK Government is intent on grabbing devolved powers for itself, citing the desire “to retain a UK-wide approach” in some areas.

Commenting, the SNP’s Joan McAlpine who convenes Holyrood’s Europe Committee said:

“David Mundell has now explicitly conceded that the UK government plans to take control of devolved powers returning from Brussels – the first time since devolution that powers in areas like agriculture and fishing would not reside at Holyrood.

“That fundamentally undermines the founding principles of devolution – and it’s a complete betrayal of the Leave campaign’s promises to Scotland.

“The Scottish Government are not opposed in principle to agreeing UK-wide frameworks where powers are returning from Brussels. But that must be by mutual agreement and not imposed on Scotland against our will.

“This is a far cry from the “powers bonanza” that David Mundell previously boasted about. It also appears to undermine his Holyrood Tory colleagues, who claim to be interested in helping to stop a power grab.

“All devolved powers returning from Brussels must come to Holyrood – anything less would breach the founding principles of devolution which people voted for.”

“Mundell says not all powers will return to Scotland”, front page of today’s Herald.

He will ask: “Where do we need to retain a UK-wide approach? And where can power returning from Brussels be transferred direct to the Scottish Parliament and other devolved institutions?”

The Secretary of State will go on: “We want to find common sense answers to these questions. For us, that will mean maintaining common, UK-wide frameworks in some areas to protect one of our biggest assets: our UK internal market.”

But he will stress: “Equally, we are clear that we will devolve powers unless there is a reason not to.”

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