Supreme Court unanimously rules Scottish Government’s flagship Brexit legislation is largely incompetent

The Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that 23 sections of key Scottish Government Brexit legislation are unlawful.

In what is a huge blow to Scottish Government Ministers the UK’s highest court has ruled that the legislation, forced through the Scottish Parliament under emergency procedures in March, is largely incompetent.

Sections that are unlawful include provisions which would have transferred EU law into Scottish domestic law and powers for Scottish Ministers to ensure former EU laws operate effectively.

Because the legislation has been struck down, there is now a real risk that when the UK leaves the EU next year, large parts of devolved EU law will not be transferred into Scots law.

In particular, the Scottish Government has repeatedly said that this legislation would give them the legal ability to pay farmers after we leave the EU.

Now it is unclear whether there are any legal mechanisms in place for farmers in Scotland to receive financial support.

John Lamont MP said: “This is a unanimous decision against the SNP’s attempts to sow division and undermine the devolution settlement.

“The First Minister was warned by the Scottish Parliament’s own Presiding Officer that their legislation was unlawful, but she ploughed ahead regardless, determined to manufacture yet another grievance with the UK Government.

“This is a very complex ruling, but put simply, the effect of it is that there are now huge gaps in the law that will need to be filled before we leave the EU.

“The Scottish Government were recklessly relying on this legislation to allow them to pay farmers in Scotland after we leave the EU. Now that large parts have been struck down, there is a very real risk that farmers cannot receive payments. I have demanded an answer from the Scottish Government about what they intend to do about this.”