Scotland’s devolved parliament partially overstepped its constitutional reach when it passed a Brexit bill that was designed to ensure it kept all its powers after Britain leaves the European Union, the British Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.
Britain’s government asked the Supreme Court in April to rule on whether Brexit bills passed by the Scottish and Welsh parliaments were constitutionally sound, arguing that they would cause legal confusion.
The Supreme Court said on Thursday the whole of the Scottish Bill was not outside the devolved parliament’s legislative competence but some sections were.
Both sides claimed victory.
Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, said the ruling was an important vindication of her government’s approach to Brexit.
But Britain’s Scotland minister David Mundell said the ruling brought “much-needed legal clarity that the Continuity Bill goes beyond the powers of the Scottish parliament.”