The Scottish Parliament will vote Tuesday on UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s draft law to formally trigger Brexit.
This is a signal that the Scots want their views to be considered as the premier prepares to embark on two years of talks to leave the European Union, Bloomberg reports.
May’s bill, which would allow her to invoke Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty, the formal trigger for exit discussions, passed its first vote in Parliament in London on Wednesday.
The draft law will now undergo three days of line-by-line debate in a so-called committee stage starting on Monday.
Members of Parliament have so far filled a 128-page document with scores of proposed amendments to the 137-word bill, which will then be put to its final vote in the lower chamber, the House of Commons, before being sent up to the House of Lords.
“It is now essential that the Scottish Parliament’s views are heard prior to the end of the committee stage of the Article 50 bill in the House of Commons, so we will lodge a motion to allow Parliament to express its view,” Scottish Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe Michael Russell said on Thursday in an e-mailed statement. “I believe that Parliament will send a resounding message that Scotland’s future is in Europe.”
The plan by Russell’s Scottish National Party amounts to a political warning to May to heed its concerns as she prepares to negotiate a so-called “hard” Brexit, pulling Britain out of the EU’s single market and customs union, which allow free trade within the bloc.
The Scottish vote has no power to affect whether May triggers Brexit because the Supreme Court ruled last month that the semi-autonomous legislature doesn’t get to vote on the process.
The SNP produced a detailed plan for Brexit before Christmas that seeks to force May to negotiate to keep Scotland in the single market, even if the rest of the country pulls out.
SNP leaders have repeatedly said that Brexit may lead to another independence referendum in Scotland, which voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU.
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