Leaders of the Scottish and Welsh governments have written joint letters to the Prime Minister and the European Council President urging them to agree more time for scrutiny of the proposed Brexit Bill.
The UK government is required to seek legislative consent for its Withdrawal Agreement Bill from both the Scottish Parliament and the National Assembly for Wales.
The letter to the Prime Minister urges the UK government to secure an extension to the Article 50 process from the European Council to provide sufficient time to enable both legislatures to carry out their ‘proper constitutional and democratic functions’.
The First Ministers have also written to the President of the European Council informing him of the requirement on the UK government to secure the consent of the Scottish and Welsh legislatures. In addition, the First Ministers express their support for an extension long enough to enable a referendum to be held - with the option of remaining in the European Union on the ballot paper.
The letter to the Prime Minister states:
“This Bill will be among the most important pieces of legislation ever considered by the UK Parliament, the Scottish Parliament and National Assembly for Wales, with far-reaching implications for the whole of the United Kingdom and our future well-being.
“Both our governments believe the deal you have negotiated with the EU will be even more damaging to Wales, Scotland and the United Kingdom than the previous unacceptable agreement made by your predecessor.
“It is essential that your government respects devolution, the legislative consent process and any decisions on consent that the Scottish Parliament and National Assembly may reach.”