The UK Government has requested consent for parts of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill. It has not requested consent for the Withdrawal Agreement, which is a reserved matter for the UK Government and Parliament. The Scottish and Welsh Governments have said they are unable to support the Bill because of their opposition to the Withdrawal Agreement. They have also sought changes to the Bill in reserved areas.
These letters set out the UK Government’s view that the devolution settlements did not intend for the Devolved Administrations to be able to frustrate the UK Government’s exercise of reserved powers. The UK Government had hoped that the Scottish and Welsh Governments would consider the Bill on the basis on the provisions for which we sought consent, including the important powers granted to them to protect citizens’ rights.
There was substantial engagement with the devolved administrations before the Bill’s introduction to ensure that it works across the UK. The UK Government will continue to work collaboratively with all of the devolved administrations going forward.