The UK Government’s involving of the Scottish Government in its Brexit negotiations is welcome but does not go far enough, Open Britain says today.
On a visit to Edinburgh in July, Theresa May said: “I won’t be triggering Article 50 until I think that we have a UK approach and objectives for negotiations. I think it is important that we establish that before we trigger Article 50.” However, a timetable for Article 50 was announced unilaterally by the UK Government at Conservative Party Conference.
Ahead of the summit being held at Downing Street today this pledge appears to have been watered down to merely an offer of a “direct line” between the Scottish Government and the Department for Exiting the European Union, with no concrete guarantees that their concerns will be acted upon before Article 50 is triggered.
The concerns of the Scottish Government and parliament must be taken seriously in the Brexit process, and Scotland’s particular concerns must be taken into account when shaping the Government’s negotiating strategy.
It is vital that the Government publishes its objectives and allows a parliamentary debate and vote on them before Article 50 is triggered, and that they reflect the concerns of Scotland.
Commenting, John Edward, Open Britain spokesman in Scotland, said:
“The Government’s commitment to open dialogue with the devolved administrations is welcome but those words must be matched by actions.
“A genuine UK-wide approach to the upcoming negotiations means ensuring Scotland has a role in shaping the objectives for them, not just being consulted after they have been decided behind closed doors in Whitehall.”
Theresa May’s remarks in Edinburgh in July are reported here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/07/15/theresa-may-flies-to-edinburgh-to-tell-scots-that-she-believes-w/