Scottish Government will say NO to any power grab in the EU withdrawal bill. Up to 111 powers are at risk. Will it make any difference though?


In the bill, as it stands, powers currently devolved to Scotland would be handed back to Westminster from the EU, in the first instance. Westminster would then devolve these again to the Scotland or perhaps they wouldn’t. There would be no guarantees and already we’ve had Michael Gove refusing to guarantee that the current £700 million of funding for forestry, hill farmers and crofters would automatically be devolved. This is only one of many devolved powers in the areas of agriculture, environment and economic planning which the Scottish Government suspect the centralist-minded Tories would prefer to see returned to Westminster. David Mundell has also said that not all powers would be returned to Scotland. It has even been suggested that the ban on fracking in Scotland could be reversed as powers return to Westminster.

The Scottish and Welsh governments seem likely to refuse consent unless the bill is amended to explicitly guarantee currently devolve powers. According to the SNP, 111 powers are at risk. The Welsh government have identified 64 powers they could lose. Here are the 111:

1.Agricultural Support

2.Agriculture – Fertiliser Regulations

3.Agriculture – GMO Marketing & Cultivation

4.Agriculture – Organic Farming

5.Agriculture – Zootech

6.Animal Health and Traceability

7.Animal Welfare

8.Aviation Noise Management at Airports

9.Blood Safety and Quality

10.Carbon Capture & Storage

11.Chemicals regulation (including pesticides)

12.Civil judicial co-operation – jurisdiction and recognition & enforcement of judgments in civil & commercial matters (including B1 rules and related EU conventions)

13.Civil judicial co-operation – jurisdiction and recognition & enforcement of judgments instruments in family law (including BIIa, Maintenance and civil protection orders)

14.Civil judicial cooperation on service of documents and taking of evidence

15.Criminal offences minimum standards measures – Combating Child Sexual Exploitation Directive

16.Control of major accident hazards

17.Cross border mediation

18.Data sharing – (EU fingerprint database (EuroDac)

19.Data sharing – European Criminal Records Information System (ECRIS)

20.Data sharing – False and Authentic Documents Online (FADO)

21.Data sharing – passenger name records

22.Data sharing – Prüm framework

23.Data sharing – Schengen Information System (SIS II)

24.Efficiency in energy use

25.Elements of Reciprocal Healthcare

26.Elements of the Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive

27.Elements of Tobacco Regulation

28.Energy Performance of Buildings Directive

29.Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive

30.Environmental law concerning energy planning consents

31.Environmental law concerning offshore oil & gas installations within territorial waters

32.Environmental quality – Air Quality

33.Environmental quality – Chemicals

34.Environmental quality – Flood Risk Management

35.Environmental quality – International timber trade (EUTR and FLEGT)

36.Environmental quality – Marine environment

37.Environmental quality – Natural Environment and Biodiversity

38.Environmental quality – Ozone depleting substances and F-gases

39.Environmental quality – Pesticides

40.Environmental quality – Spatial Data Infrastructure Standards

41.Environmental quality – Waste Packaging & Product Regulations

42.Environmental quality – Waste Producer Responsibility Regulations

43.Environmental quality – Water Quality

44.Environmental quality – Water Resources

45.Environmental quality – Biodiversity – access and benefit sharing of genetic resources

46.Equal Treatment Legislation

47.EU agencies – EU-LISA

48.EU agencies – Eurojust

49.EU agencies – Europol

50.EU Social Security Coordination

51.Fisheries Management & Support

52.Food and Feed Law

53.Food Compositional Standards

54.Food Geographical Indications (Protected Food Names)

55.Food Labelling

56.Forestry (domestic)

57.Free movement of healthcare (the right for EEA citizens to have their elective

procedure in another member state)

58.Genetically modified micro-organisms contained use

59.Good laboratory practice


61.Hazardous Substances Planning

62.Heat metering and billing information

63.High Efficiency Cogeneration

64.Implementation of EU Emissions Trading System

65.Ionising radiation

66.Land use

67.Late payment (commercial transactions)

68.Legal aid in cross-border cases

69.Migrant Access to benefits

70.Minimum standards -housing & care: regulation of the use of animals

71.Minimum standards legislation – child sexual exploitation

72.Minimum standards legislation – cybercrime

73.Minimum standards legislation – football disorder

74.Minimum standards legislation – human trafficking

75.Mutual recognition of professional qualifications

76.Mutual recognition of criminal court judgments measures & cross border cooperation –

European Protection Order, Prisoner Transfer Framework Directive, European

Supervision Directive, Compensation to Crime Victims Directive

77.Nutrition health claims, composition and labelling

78.Onshore hydrocarbons licensing


80.Plant Health, Seeds and Propagating Material

81.Practical cooperation in law enforcement – Asset Recovery Offices

82.Practical cooperation in law enforcement – European Investigation Order

83.Practical cooperation in law enforcement – Joint Action on Organised Crime

84.Practical cooperation in law enforcement – Joint investigation teams

85.Practical cooperation in law enforcement – mutual legal assistance

86.Practical cooperation in law enforcement – mutual recognition of asset freezing orders

87.Practical cooperation in law enforcement – mutual recognition of confiscation orders

88.Practical cooperation in law enforcement – Schengen Article 40

89.Practical cooperation in law enforcement – Swedish initiative

90.Practical cooperation in law enforcement – European judicial network

91.Practical cooperation in law enforcement – implementation of European Arrest


92.Procedural rights (criminal cases) – minimum standards measures

93.Provision of legal services

94.Provision in the 1995 Data Protection Directive (soon to be replaced by the General

Data Protection Regulation) that allows for more than one supervisory authority in

each member state

95.Public sector procurement

96.Public health (serious cross-border threats to health)

97.Radioactive Source Notifications – Trans-frontier shipments

98.Radioactive waste treatment and disposal

99.Rail franchising rules

100.Rail markets and operator licensing

101.Recognition of insolvency proceedings in EU Member States

102.Renewable Energy Directive

103.Rules on applicable law in civil & commercial cross border claims

104.Sentencing – taking convictions into account

105.State Aid


107.Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) Directive

108.Tissues and cells

109.Uniform fast-track procedures for certain civil and commercial claims (uncontested

debts, small claims)

110.Victim’s rights measures (criminal cases)

111.Voting rights and candidacy rules for EU citizens in local government elections


When you see the full list like this, I think the potential damage to devolution becomes clear.

Finally, what difference will Scotland refusing consent make? If the Tories refuse to amend the bill to satisfy the devolved administrations and they then refuse consent, the UK Parliament could block the Bill but only if the DUP and the Scottish Tories break ranks. If that does not happen the bill will go through, politely noting the dissent from Scotland and Wales, and perhaps be implemented as it stands. You could argue, of course, that this would create a constitutional crisis and be a gift to the Yes campaign. Of course, Brexit may not happen at all. See these:


6 thoughts on “Scottish Government will say NO to any power grab in the EU withdrawal bill. Up to 111 powers are at risk. Will it make any difference though?

      • TSD October 17, 2017 / 5:03 pm

        I’ve let my blogging lapse but when I reblog The Wee Ginger Dug I get around 25 readers that day. I don’t know which countries they’re from, though. I keep telling myself that I should start blogging again but never seem to get round to it!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. gavin October 17, 2017 / 6:34 pm

    For British nationalists, centralising UK power back to Westminster is every bit as important as leaving the EU. For them devolution was an historic mistake, and it’s not just the Tories who feel this: witness the response of Gordon Brown when Labour lost Holyrood, or the petulance expressed when new Nuclear power stations could no longer be foisted on Scotland. Mr Corbyn has already stated he seems no need for differing legal systems in the UK. BBC North Britain was quite happy to dub Gove the UK Fish and Ag Minister.

    We can aw’ be Jock Tamsin’s bairns, or…………our mater and pater can be May/Corbyn…….perish the thocht.

    Liked by 1 person

    • johnrobertson834 October 18, 2017 / 7:19 am

      I can’t help but like Corbyn but as you point out, I need to remember he’s still a Unionist. Nice Unionists are more dangerous because they can seduce the Scottish working classes


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