UK Withdrawal from the EU (Continuity) (Scotland) Bill

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The UK Withdrawal from the EU (Continuity) (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 18 June 2020 by the Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, Europe and External Affairs, Michael Russell MSP.

Overview

This Bill aims to make sure that Scottish law can continue to align with EU law after the UK leaves the European Union.

It will help Scottish law keep up with future developments in EU law after 31 December and will also allow changes to be made to EU laws which are already operating in Scotland. This could apply to areas that are devolved to Scotland like the environment, agriculture and fisheries.

The Bill does three main things:

  • Gives Scottish Ministers the power to keep devolved laws similar to EU laws;
  • Ensures that Scottish Ministers and public bodies pay attention to environmental principles when they make policies; and
  • Sets up a new organisation – Environmental Standards Scotland – to replace the oversight of environmental law currently provided by the EU

Lead Committee: Finance and Constitution Committee

Secondary Committee: Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee

SPICe briefing

SPICe has produced two briefings on the Bill:

UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Bill: Parts 1 and 3

UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Bill: Part 2 – Environmental Principles and Governance

Consideration by the Finance and Constitution Committee

DateAction
June 2020The Committee issued a call for views.
19 August 2020Letter from the Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform to the Convener of the Finance and Constitution Committee
19 August 2020Briefing on the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Continuity) (Scotland) Bill by the Committee’s Constitutional Issues Adviser, Professor Tom Mullen
19 August 2020The Committee took evidence from Scottish Government officials
26 August 2020The Committee took evidence from Professor Michael Keating (University of Aberdeen) and Professor Aileen McHarg (Durham University) and then from the Faculty of Advocates and the Law Society of Scotland
2 September 2020The Committee took evidence from NFU Scotland and Scottish Enviroment LINK and then from COSLA and Human Rights Consortium Scotland
7 September 2020Supplementary written evidence from the Law Society of Scotland

Consideration by the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee

DateAction
25 June 2020The Committee issued a call for views.