Scottish independence is never off the table, Sturgeon says


The Sewel Convention, which is enshrined in the devolution legislation, states Westminster "would not normally legislate with regard to devolved matters in Scotland without the consent of the Scottish Parliament".

The Scottish Parliament voted by a margin of 93 to 30 not to grant a Legislative Consent Motion (LCM) to the keynote Brexit legislation following the First Minister's warnings that it would lead to a Westminster "power grab".

A Labour amendment calling for "cross-party talks in an attempt to broker an agreed way forward" was accepted, and Scottish Brexit minister Mike Russell said he would invite United Kingdom ministers to "hear the concerns of all parties" and to discuss "any new ideas".

Meanwhile, Neil Findlay, Scottish Labour's Brexit spokesman, said the continuing "problems" with the Brexit bill meant his party would vote against giving consent.

"The UK government can not ignore the reality of devolution or try to drown out what this parliament says", he said. The UK says it will consult the Scottish government on all changes to those policies, and try to seek agreement.

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"Let's be clear: Labour and Liberal Democrat support would not amount to backing for the UK Conservative Government".

An initial proposal previous year by Britain that devolved powers returning from the European Union after Brexit should initially pass to Westminster was roundly rejected by Welsh and Scottish politicians.

"Those changes mean that, when we leave the European Union, power will be held closer to people and communities across the UK".

Plaid AM Adam Price said: "We are joining a very select club of national Parliaments, if we pass this motion today, that have voluntarily chose to cede their own authority".

The British government has accused Scottish opponents of "nit-picking" and has insisted it is trying to protect Britain's economic integrity by building a common framework throughout the country when Brussels regulations are handed over after Brexit.

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On that point, a Scottish government source said: "We were open to both, but I think the fundamental point that we've made ever since this bill was published is the issue of consent, that the Scottish Parliament has to agree".

Scottish Conservative Murdo Fraser took apart the First Minister, before taking digs at the Scottish Labour Party and Lib Dems.

He said the blame for the lack of agreement in Scotland was because of Nicola Sturgeon.

Scotland voted against independence by 55 percent in a referendum in 2014, but Sturgeon insists she has a mandate to hold a second vote since Scotland voted against Brexit by 62 percent in 2016.

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