Theresa May’s Brexit legislation has been struck down by the Scottish parliament by a huge margin. Britain watchers say that a constitutional crisis looms ahead in the days to come.
This Tuesday, the Scottish parliament rejected the idea of the UK leaving the European Union overwhelmingly. Ninety-three MPs rejected the bill while thirty lawmakers supported Brexit. The Scottish National Party, Liberal Democrats, Labor and the Greens opposed the Brexit legislation while the Conservatives stood by it.
UK and Scotland do not see eye-on-eye on some EU powers that will come back to the UK after Brexit. These powers are related to fishing, farm subsidies, GM crops and state aid to industry. There are disagreements between the two governments on how to manage those powers.
Observers say that this vote will not affect Brexit and May can still proceed with her action plan of leaving the EU without consulting the Scots. While moving ahead, the British government can either impose the power-sharing plans on the Scots or male concessions to Holyrood in order to make the Scots see reason.
In case Theresa May decides to impose her plans on the Scots, she risks inflaming their desire for raising demands for independence from the British Union. A few years back, the Scots had voted on a referendum demanding independence but it fell through for want of adequate support. Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish First Minister has hinted that in case UK votes for Brexit, then there might be a second referendum for independence for Scotland.
It is not without reason that the Scots want to remain in the EU. Leaving the Union could leave them poorer by at least GBP 12 billion per year until 2030.
Meanwhile, Wales has supported the Brexit legislation and this has encouraged the UK government to push the bill through the House of Commons. The House of Lords has already passed this legislation.
Once this bill is passed by the British parliament, Ms. May hopes to get a favorable judgment on a Brexit-related case from the UK supreme court. The UK government has asked the supreme court to cancel a rival legislation on Brexit brought by the Scots.