The Government is being constitutionally insensitive in its approach to European Union Withdrawal Bill, says the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee (PACAC) published report, into Clause 11 of the Bill.
Clause 11 interpretation
Clause 11 is being interpreted by the devolved administrations as an attempt to reverse some elements of the devolution settlements. This is in spite of the UK Governments' stated intention that the European Union Withdrawal Bill (EUW) is simply designed to ensure legal continuity post-Brexit.
The main source of disquiet and disagreement between central and devolved government, derives from the lack of communication and established mechanisms for both proper consultation and shared decision making between governments.
The PACAC report is intended to build understanding of key constitutional issues in advance of the debates in the Committee of the Whole House.
Chair of PACAC, Bernard Jenkin MP, says:
"At this moment, it is both essential and an opportunity to establish an effective system of intergovernmental relations which has always been missing from the UK’s constitutional arrangements. The dispute around Clause 11 is a perfect example of why this is needed. In the last Parliament, we recommended several achievable first steps toward such arrangements, which would be been extremely helpful right now. A system of mutual trust and effective communication and consultation is essential for the internal governance of the UK, now more than ever as we approach our departure from the European Union."