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On Thursday 13 December 2018, the Supreme Court handed down its judgment on whether the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Legal Continuity) (Scotland) Bill was within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament.

The Scottish Parliament had passed the Bill following the defeat of amendments to what is now the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 as it passed through the Houses of Parliament. Among other things, the Bill sought to empower the Scottish Ministers to make amendments to what will become ‘retained EU law’ within areas of devolved legislative competence, but without the conditions which apply to the equivalent power conferred by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018.

The Court held that a number of the Bill’s provisions were outside the Parliament’s competence but not the Bill as a whole. The full judgment is available here.


The Rt. Hon. the Lord Keen of Elie QC and Sir James Eadie QC appeared for the Applicants. Michael Fordham QC and Hollie Higgins appeared for the Counsel General for Wales intervening. 

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Staff