08:11 GMT +324 June 2018
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    Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gestures as she speaks to members of the media outside 10 Downing Street in central London on October 24, 2016 after holding talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May and the first ministers of Wales and Northern Ireland on the government's Brexit plans. Sturgeon, leader of the secessionist Scottish National Party,

    Regional UK Leaders Meet Prime Minister to Discuss Post-Brexit Powers

    © AFP 2018 / Daniel Leal-Olivas
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    Issues surrounding devolution of power in Britain have been reignited by Brexit, with London and the regional parliaments arguing over who has what authority in the different nations that make up the United Kingdom.

    The First Ministers of Scotland and Wales have held talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May in Downing Street over the mechanism by which executive powers exercised by the European Union will be transferred to the devolved Parliaments in Edinburgh and Cardiff.

    David Lidington, the British Devolution Secretary has repeatedly pledged that the regional governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will exercise the vast majority of powers currently held by Brussels, dealing areas such as carbon capture, management of energy and water quality, from the day that Britain begins its exit from the EU in March 2019. The Scottish and Welsh leaders have nonetheless accused the Conservative Westminster Government of attempting to undermine devolution and recentralizing power.

    Westminster has proposed however, that it should temporarily be able place restrictions on the devolved administrations' authority over regulation of pesticides, fishing quotas and food safety standards. Both ministers have claimed that the temporary restrictions in the Government's Draft Withdrawal Bill contain no timeline, meaning that London theoretically refuse to hand the powers back.

    The gradual decentralization of executive power in Britain has gathered pace in the last decades of the XX century and first decades of the XXI due to increasing local nationalist feeling. Calls for devolution have even been made within England itself, with the first-ever "Convention of the North" being proposed for June 2018 by the mayors of Liverpool and Manchester on February 27.

    Related:

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    Scottish Devolution at 20: How Has Holyrood Fared With Independence From London?
    London Mayor Welcomes Devolution Deal Giving City More Control Ahead of Brexit
    UK Supreme Court Decision on Brexit Undermines Gov't Devolution - Lawmaker
    Tags:
    devolution, executive power, regional authorities, regional autonomy, Brexit, European Union, Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP), British Labour Party, British Conservative Party, Carwyn Jones, Nicola Sturgeon, David Lidington, Theresa May, Europe, Wales, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, Scotland, England
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