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Scotland and Wales warn new internal market bill harms UK unity

By Caoimhe Toman

Date: Wednesday 09 Sep 2020

Scotland and Wales warn new internal market bill harms UK unity

(Sharecast News) - Scotland and Wales warned on Wednesday that the new internal market bill that was proposed by the British government will undermine the UK's unity as it will steal power from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The bill, which includes plans for life outside the European Union when the transition period ends in December 2020, could potentially also breach international law, said a minister who spoke to Reuters on Wednesday.

The minister added that it jeopardises talks with the EU on a potential Brexit agreement.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP), described the UK government's new bill as "a full frontal assault on devolution" that would steal powers from Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

She also suggested the bill would strengthen the case for Scottish independence.

"More and more this is not about independence v the status quo of devolution. It's about independence as the only way to protect the Scottish Parliament from being undermined and its powers eroded," she said.

The reaction in Cardiff was also negative, with the bill described as a threat to the ties binding the four parts of the UK together.

"Let me be clear - the UK government plans to sacrifice the future of the union by stealing powers from devolved administrations," said Jeremy Miles, Wales' counsel general and minister for European transition."

This bill is an attack on democracy and an affront to the people of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, who have voted in favour of devolution on numerous occasions."

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