Ministers from Holyrood and Westminster fail to reach Brexit agreement

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Talks over the transfer of powers to Scotland after Brexit have resulted in “good progress” but failed to reach a deal.

The Scottish Government said the UK Government had not gone far enough for ministers to recommend that Holyrood gives legislative consent to the EU Withdrawal Bill.

The legislation – designed to transpose EU law into British law so the same rules apply on the day of Brexit as the day before – will see EU responsibilities in devolved areas initially transferred to Westminster.

The UK Government said this will allow common frameworks to be created ahead of further devolution.

Ministers in both Edinburgh and Cardiff said it amounts to a power grab and must be amended.

First Secretary Damian Green and Scottish Secretary David Mundell met with Deputy First Minister John Swinney and Scottish Brexit Minister Michael Russell in Edinburgh in an effort to resolve the dispute.

Mr Russell said: “Today’s talks were held in a positive and constructive manner.

“Good progress has been made in several areas, most specifically on the issue of UK frameworks.

“This is to be welcomed, however it does not yet go far enough for the Scottish Government to recommend parliament agrees to give legislative consent to the EU Withdrawal Bill.”

He added: “It is extremely important that the UK Government continue to engage with the devolved administrations so we can find a path that works for all the nations of the United Kingdom.

“This is particularly important in relation to future talks including trade as it is essential that Scotland’s interests are represented in any negotiations.

“It must be recognised that fundamentally nothing can be agreed until agreement is reached on both frameworks and amendments to the Bill.

“We, therefore, look forward to the next discussions on these matters which will take place at the Joint Ministerial Committee (EU Negotiations) in London on December 12.”

Mr Mundell told BBC Scotland that “significant progress” had been made, but there was still “a lot of work to do on the details”.

He told the broadcaster: “I remain confident that we will be able to reach agreement with the Scottish Government and that we will get legislative consent from the Scottish Parliament

“We both really want the same thing – we want to ensure that the powers and responsibilities that come back from Brussels rest in the appropriate place, and that we proceed on a presumption of devolution, but we respect that there is a need to have rules and regulations that apply across the whole of the UK.”

Amendments seeking to change the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill’s impact on devolution are due to be debated by MPs in the Commons on Monday.

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