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Fundamental questions about Brexit must be addressed, say MSPs

A committee of MSPs has been examining the impact of Brexit (Jane Barlow/PA)
A committee of MSPs has been examining the impact of Brexit (Jane Barlow/PA)

There are fundamental questions about how devolution works post-Brexit which must be addressed, a committee of MSPs has said.

Holyrood’s Constitution Committee said there are substantive differences between the views of the UK and devolved governments on future alignment with EU law.

In a report released on Thursday, it said these concerns must be addressed by the Scottish Parliament and there should be a wider public debate on the issue.

The committee has previously said the UK Internal Market Act has created tensions within the devolution settlement.

It said the Act placed more emphasis on open trade than regulatory autonomy, when compared to the EU single market.

The committee’s findings will be submitted to an interparliamentary forum meeting taking place in Cardiff on October 28.

Holyrood committee appearance row
Clare Adamson said there should be a wider debate (Andrew Cowan)

Committee convener Clare Adamson said: “As a committee, we have already set out our concerns about the risks for devolved Parliaments as a result of Brexit.

“But the questions raised in our report make it clear that there are fundamental issues which must be addressed urgently.

“Without wider debate, both in this Parliament and elsewhere, these fundamental questions will go unresolved, and the way devolution works outside of the EU will remain uncertain.”

Deputy convener Donald Cameron said: “Our committee is agreed that there is a need for a wide debate on the very serious and complex issues raised in our report.

“However, this debate is not simply one for Governments and Parliaments, but businesses, civic society and the wider public as well in order that we can fully explore the current issues facing not just the Scottish Parliament, but the wider devolution process.”