10:57 GMT +324 October 2017
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    A Scottish Saltire (C) flies between a Union flag (L) and a European Union (EU) flag in front of the Scottish Parliament building in Edinburgh, Scotland on June 27, 2016.

    Scottish Government Calls on Devolved Parliament to Reject EU Withdrawal Bill

    © AFP 2017/ Oli Scarff
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    According to a statement that cited Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland's Place in Europe, the Scottish government recommended its devolved parliament not to support Westminster's EU Withdrawal Bill.

    LONDON (Sputnik) — The Scottish government on Tuesday said it recommended its devolved parliament to not put its support behind Westminster's EU Withdrawal Bill, as it could weaken the legislature's powers.

    In a vote on Monday night, the UK House of Commons backed the second reading of the EU withdrawal bill, which aims to halt the precedence of EU legislation over UK laws. The bill will have to pass a third reading before being passed to the House of Lords for deliberation.

    "The Scottish Government cannot recommend the Scottish Parliament give its consent to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill in its current form," a statement reads, citing Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland's Place in Europe Michael Russell.

    Russel opposed the bill's proposal to have the responsibility for all EU laws be transferred to Westminster.

    "He explained that this would mean the Scottish Parliament would have no say on changes to existing EU laws in areas including agriculture, fisheries, justice, forestry or research. Mr Russell confirmed that a series of amendments, jointly agreed with the Welsh Government, will be published shortly," the statement pointed out.

    The United Kingdom and the European Union began Brexit negotiations in June and are expected to conclude them by late March 2019.

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