Scotland politics

David Mundell: Brexit will 'change' UK devolution

David Mundell
Image caption Mr Mundell said the UK's devolution settlement would be "changed" by Brexit

Holyrood might be given new powers when the UK leaves the European Union, the Scottish secretary has suggested.

David Mundell told MPs that Brexit would "self-evidently" change the devolution settlement, and said powers would not be taken away from Holyrood.

The MP said leaving the EU "should be seen as an opportunity for Scotland".

SNP members pressed the Tory minister on what the effect of Brexit could be on Scotland's economy during Scottish Questions at Westminster.

Glasgow North West MP Carol Monaghan asked: "Given that Brexit continues to be billed as taking back control, can the secretary of state tell us which powers that are currently controlled by Brussels will the UK Government commit to giving to Holyrood and which will be re-reserved to Westminster?"

Mr Mundell replied: "It's self-evident that, because the devolution settlements within the United Kingdom are predicated on the basis that the United Kingdom was a member of the European Union, then those devolution settlements will be changed by the United Kingdom leaving the EU and those will be matters which will be subject to debate and discussion."

'Re-reserved powers'

Glasgow North MP Patrick Grady then asked the minister to clarify if that meant that currently devolved powers could be taken away from Holyrood.

He said: "I'm not entirely certain the secretary of state answered that question. Will you categorically rule out that powers will not be re-reserved to this parliament as a result of the decision to leave the European Union?"

Mr Mundell said: "No, what I can say is that no powers which are currently exercised by the Scottish Parliament will be re-reserved to this parliament as a result of the United Kingdom leaving the EU."

Image caption Angus Robertson said people were "totally disgusted" by "xenophobic" Tory rhetoric

Elsewhere in the session, former cabinet secretary Michael Gove attacked the idea of Scottish independence, saying it would "land the people of Scotland with a huge public sector deficit and the prospect of either tax rises or cuts to services".

Mr Mundell said that a second independence referendum should be taken "off the table", saying that the UK is "the union which matters to Scotland".

In the prime minister's questions session which followed, SNP group leader Angus Robertson pressed Theresa May on the issue of hate crime.

He also claimed Tory rhetoric on immigration had been "xenophobic", saying people were "totally disgusted" by it.

Mrs May said she had been very clear that there was "absolutely no place in our society for racism, no place in our society for hate crime".

She said this message should be repeated "with one voice from across this chamber".

The prime minister also rejected claims from Labour that she was overseeing a "shambolic Tory Brexit".

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