Scottish Liberal Democrat Europe spokesperson Tavish Scott MSP has today highlighted the success of Liberal Democrat amendments to the EU Continuity Bill as the Parliament debates the Bill at Stage 3.
The Bill as originally drafted bestowed extensive powers on SNP ministers. Scottish Liberal Democrats have secured a series of amendments to improve the bill including stopping ministers from creating new quangos, cutting back ministerial powers and ensuring that environmental and animal welfare protections are secured.
SNP Ministers had also aimed to secure a power to be able to keep pace with EU law for 15 years. Liberal Democrat amendments capped this at five years subject to annual review.
Mr Scott said:
“Throughout this process I have stressed the importance of co-operation and collaboration between the Scottish and UK governments.
"It is essential that legislation is in place in the event that we leave the European Union and Scottish Liberal Democrats have played a significant role in scrutinising and improving this bill.
“It would not be right to give Scottish ministers vast powers over huge swathes of legislation to be exercised on a ministerial whim, nor the ability to create new quangos or extend their powers.
"Now it is essential that the Scottish Government recognise the need for considered UK frameworks and working in partnership with the other UK administrations. In particular they would do well to remember that the rest of the UK remains our most important trading partner.
“It is essential that we secure a settlement which protects the Scottish Parliament’s devolved powers and the interests of Scottish businesses and people. The amendments the Liberal Democrats have brought forward have gone a long way to securing this.”