How the UK and devolved governments should work together on leaving the EU

Four-nation Brexit argues it is imperative that Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England reach agreement on the UK’s Brexit terms and negotiating strategy. Imposing a Brexit settlement in the face of devolved opposition (while legally possible) would be a reckless strategy for a PM with a deep commitment to the Union. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland cannot be treated like any other lobby or interest group. Equally, the devolved governments will have to accept that Westminster will have the final say.

Recent developments are not reassuring. The PM has already said the negotiations are for her government alone. And the Scottish First Minister has set her government on a collision course with Westminster by publishing a bill to hold a second independence referendum. The four governments must set out a clear plan for how they will work together on Brexit. Working in partnership will naturally require all sides to compromise. If agreement proves elusive then each of the governments should be held to account.

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