Ministers criticised by Dundee professor for keeping public in dark over Brexit row

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Professor Alan Page

A Dundee professor has rebuked ministers for keeping MSPs and the public in the dark over their increasingly fraught Brexit row.

The governments in London and Edinburgh have been at loggerheads on the destination of powers returning from Brussels.

Alan Page, the professor of public law at Dundee University, said leaving politicians, voters and academics out of the loop is “not good enough”.

Speaking to a Holyrood Committee, Prof Page said there is a “massive imbalance or asymmetry of knowledge surrounding this process”.

“It’s impossible to know what’s going on,” he added.

“I wonder to what extent members of this parliament are any better informed about it.”

There are 111 devolved competences that will return to these shores at the point of Brexit.

Ministers say there are still locked in dispute about where 25 of those end up.

Prof Page added: “We started with 111 EU powers which intersected with the devolution settlement. Where have we got to in relation to that?

“What are the 25 outstanding ones, which is what the argument is about? So yes, I think it’s not satisfactory.”

Scottish ministers, who are putting rival legislation through Holyrood, say the UK bill is a “power grab” on competences that belong in the Edinburgh parliament.

Conservative ministers say a minority of the returning powers need to be run from Westminster, while UK-wide rules and regulations are drawn up.