Wales and NI to make submissions at Scottish Brexit law hearing

Lawyers representing Wales and Northern Ireland will make submissions as 'interested parties' at the Supreme Court hearing on Brexit legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament.

Tuesday, 24th July 2018, 8:39 am
Updated Tuesday, 24th July 2018, 8:59 am

Senior law officers for both countries will support the submissions made on behalf of the Lord Advocate, James Wolffe QC, who is representing Holyrood.

Jeremy Miles, Counsel General for Wales, said in a statement that the Welsh Government’s participation in the case is not about its own law, but that the issues raised “extend beyond” the Scottish Bill and relate to the “future functioning” of the UK after Brexit.

He said: “It is vital that Wales has a voice on those issues, and they are the focus of my case.”

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Mr Miles will argue that legislating for the domestic consequences of withdrawing from the EU “falls squarely” within the legislative competence of the Welsh Assembly.

He will also say the Assembly is competent to legislate in advance of Brexit, to make changes which need to be in place “from day one” after the UK leaves the EU.

John Larkin QC, Attorney General for Northern Ireland, will say that he “recognises the strength” of the argument in favour of an Act of Parliament to determine the future of current EU law throughout the UK.

However, he contends that the bill passed by the Scottish Parliament is “within its legislative competence”.

He will urge the Supreme Court to dismiss the reference by the UK Attorney General and the Advocate General for Scotland.