The devolved legislatures cannot block the bill but the need for their consent means that they have a considerable degree of leverage – much more so than if Theresa May had secured a landslide majority in the June election. It is likely the devolved nations will seek to exploit this leverage to the full.
‘In a democracy, it is always possible to think again and to choose a different direction. We need to think again about Brexit, to have a UK-wide debate about calling a halt to the process and changing our minds.’
It is likely, therefore, that the UK Government will retain the key powers indefinitely and devolve only cautiously. It seems unlikely that the UK Government will transfer them all back or that the Welsh proposal for joint policymaking will be adopted.
‘The initial reaction from the Scottish and Welsh Governments repeats their concerns about the new restrictions on devolved legislatures. Given its breadth and constitutional importance, a Scotland-wide debate is surely needed to make sure it leads to an outcome which wider Scottish civic society can support’.
‘The factors behind the revival – particularly in the North-East – look to be more Unionist than conservative, with Indyref2 and Brexit, as well as SNP governing competence all significant factors’.