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  1. MSPs quiz ministers during topical questions
  2. The pre-Stage 2 debate on the EU Continuity Bill gets underway from around 2.20pm
  3. The Finance and Constitution Committee sits late into the night taking evidence on the Stage 2 amendments and voting on them

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Louise Wilson

All times stated are UK

'You're still here? It's over. Go home. go.'

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......that is until tomorrow at 8am, when we'll do it all again. Yay.

Join us here.

Good night.

Brexit minister urges Lib Dem MSP not to move his amendment

Brexit Minister Mike Russell
Brexit Minister Mike Russell

Brexit Minister Mike Russell urges the committee to reject the Tory amendements but calls on Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott to discuss his amendment ahead of Stage 3.

Mr Scott accepts that offer and does not move his amendment.

The Tory amendments are not agreed to or not moved.

Onto the final grouping of the night...

We move to the last grouping to be considered this evening, titled "Interpretation of retained (devolved) EU law: status of decisions of the European Court after exit day".

This will also mean the committee will finish contemplation of the bill tonight at the end of section 10, with the rest to be considered from 8am tomorrow.

Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott

Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott says his amendment means the courts of tribunals would have to pay close attention to the retained EU regulation.

Tory MSP Adam Tomkins also speaks to his amendments in the group.

Labour MSP James Kelly offers support to Mr Scott's amendment but not to Mr Tomkins'.

We have an agreement! And another!

Bruce Crawford

The minister's amendment 108 is agreed to unanimously.

The conenver says it is agreed and he says he was taken by surprise.

Then, after a drought of agreed amendments, the second one comes as Mr Russell's amendment 109 is also agreed to unanimously.

Francovich linked to EU membership says Brexit minister

Brexit Minister Michael Russell
Brexit Minister Michael Russell

Brexit Minister Michael Russell says the Scottish government recognises the importance of Francovich.

He notes the claim need not be raised in court prior to exit day in the Continuity Bill, unlike the UK government's approach to the principle.

The Scottish government has generally sought to carry over EU law he says, but he argues Francovich is linked to EU membership.

It is difficult to see what retaining Francovich would mean post-Brexit given it refers directly to not implementing EU law, he states.

The amendment is not agreed to.

Labour to back Lib Dem bid to retain Francovich principle

Dem MSP Tavish Scott
Dem MSP Tavish Scott

Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott speaks to the only proposed amendment to section 8 of the bill.

He says the Francovich principle has been established in Scots law for 25 years and says it should be retained.

Labour MSP Neil Bibby agrees with this, while Green MSP Patrick Harvie says he is "open to this amendment".

Tory MSP Adam Tomkins confirms the Scottish Conservatives will not support is as there is "no reason" for the Continuity Bill to differ from the EU Withdrawal Bill on the matter.

The Francovich principle is a principle of EU law which requires damages to be available where a member state breaches a rule of EU law and conditions are met

Francovich amendment


Labour to back all amendments in the group

Labour MSP James Kelly offers support to Maurice Golden's amendment.

Acknowledging the minister saying the information would be made public, he says putting it in the bill will make this certain.

He also confirms he will support Michael Russell's amendments.

Mr Golden's amendment is defeated.

Labour MSP James Kelly
Labour MSP James Kelly

Challenges to validity of retained (devolved) EU law

Committee convener Bruce Crawford
Committee convener Bruce Crawford

Committee convener Bruce Crawford says he will take the next three groupings and then head for the hills.

Mr Crawford calls on Tory MSP Maruice Golden to speak to his amendments relating to challenges to validity of retained (devolved) EU law.


Brexit Minister Mike Russell speaks to his amendment 108 and calls on Mr Golden to withdraw his amendment.

Mike Russell

MSPs debate the principle of the supremacy of EU law

Court of Justice of the European Union
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Court of Justice of the European Union

MSPs are now debating amendments 99, 100, 101, 102, 103 around the principle of supremacy of EU law.

Tory MSP speak to their amendments and Labour MSP James Kelly speaks against their amendments.

Brexit Minister Mike Russell says the Tory amendemnts cause more confusion and cast doubt on the position.

Mr Russell calls on members to vote against the Tory amendments.

Tory MSP Murdo Fraser and Liam Kerr
Tory MSP Murdo Fraser and Liam Kerr

Tory MSP Liam Kerr says he will not press amendment 99 and 102, but press his other amendments.

He says: "We must use words that have meaning."

This appears to amuse his colleague Murdo Fraser.

Amendment 100 is not agreed to, neither is 101,103,104,105 or 106.

Time for a five minute suspension.

Green and Lib Dem amendments not moved


Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott confirms he will bring his amendment back at stage 3 if assurances are not given, but agrees to not move it for now.

Green MSP Mark Ruskell also withdraws his amendments.

Tory MSP Adam Tomkins presses his amendment, which is then rejected 6-5.

Minister absolutely determined to prevent environmental protections being weakened

Brexit Minister Mike Russell
Brexit Minister Mike Russell

Brexit Minister Mike Russell says he will make assurances to Mark Ruskell and Tavish Scott relating to their amendments.

Mr Russell says he is a former environment minster and is as sceptical as Patrick Harvie is about what the Green MSP calls the "Brexit ultras".

He says he is absolutely determined to prevent environmental protections being weakened.

Labour to back Green and Lib Dem amendments

Labour MSP Neil Bibby says his party is willing to support the amendments from Mark Ruskell and Tavish Scott, as they set out practical environmental safeguards.

Green MSP Patrick Harvie says "I want to hear something very positive from the minister" on these issues.

View more on twitter

How does the Scottish government intend to keep pace with EU on animal welfare?

Green MSP Mark Ruskell
Green MSP Mark Ruskell

Green MSP Mark Ruskell refers members to the pre-stage 2 debate for his reasons behind his amendments in this group.

The principles on animal sentience are not just about where the rules have come from and where they are now, but also about where they are going, he says.

The MSP urges the minister to clarify how the Scottish government will seek to keep pace with EU law on animal sentience going forward.

Mr Ruskell explains his amendments differ to the others in the group because they attempt to disapply EU case law.

He also noted an offer of the UK government to consult on environmental protections and who will carry out specific functions.

This ain't ending tonight!

View more on twitter join us tomorrow morning from 8am, where we'll continue full coverage of the Stage 2 proceedings of the EU Continuity Bill.

Just click here with your Weetabix and fresh orange in the morning. Other breakfast cereals are available.

Mr Scott moves his amendment on environmental principles

Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott
Amendment 4
Scottish parliament
Amendment 4
Scottish parliament

Mr Scott moves amendment 4, the biggest, yet in his name.

Shetland MSP missing out on TV favourite.......

View more on twitter

Lib Dem MSP Tavish Scott says he's having to miss Shetland on the telly.

Mr Scott is the Shetland MSP, so we can forgive him!

Labour MSP withdraw amendments

Labour MSP Claudia Beamish
Labour MSP Claudia Beamish

Labour MSP Claudia Beamish has withdrawn both her amendments in light of comments from the minister.

Labour MSP Colin Smyth does likewise with his amendment.

Time for a vote..............


Finally we have a vote on amendment 85 from Adam Tomkins, and it is not agreed to.

Same goes for 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93.

Actually we think it might be a better idea to just tell you when an amendment is finally agreed to!

Minister pledges amendments to consider envirnonmental principles and animal sentience

Animal sentience amendments will be considered

Mr Russell says under section 5 the Charter of Fundamental Rights will be incorporated into Scots law.

The Brexit minister says he will commit to bring forward amendments at Stage 3 to consider envirnonmental principles and animal sentience when exercising the powers under section 11,12 and 13 in this Bill.

Mr Russell says he cannot use this Bill to make substantial policy changes going forward.

He says he understands the motivation for the amendments from Patrick Harvie and Neil Bibby.

Scottish government is considering strengthening environmental protections says minister

SNP MSP Ivan McKee
SNP MSP Ivan McKee

SNP MSP Ivan McKee expressed concern that Neil Bibby's amendments would make ministerial powers unusable.

Brexit Minister Michael Russell says amendment 98 would only add to the complexity of the Bill.

He says the Tory MSPs' amendments seek to bring this Bill in line with the EU Withdrawal Bill by removing the provisions which relate to the Fundamental Charter of Rights.

Mr Russell says the Labour amendments 1-3 would seek to amend what is meant by "general principles".

The Scottish government is continuing to consider how to uphold the EU's principles on environmental protections, he confirms.

Michael Russell

Green MSP urges minister to consider intention of Labour amendments

Green MSP Patrick Harvie expresses concern that Adam Tomkin's amendment 98 would be harmful if the rest of Mr Tomkin's amendments in this group did not pass.

He offers support for Claudia Beamish's amendments and urges the minister to give some specific commitments on the questions the amendment raised if the Scottish government opts to reject them today.

Green MSP Patrick Harvie
Green MSP Patrick Harvie

Labour MSP Neil Bibby, whose amendment deals with section 11 which allows ministers to fix "deficiencies", says there must be checks and balances on changes made by ministers.

His amendments specifically seek to ensure the regulations cannot be used to remove or weaken EU-derived rights.

Background: EU Withdrawal Bill changes tabled by UK government amidst power row


The UK government has put forward proposed changes to the Brexit bill, despite a row with Scottish and Welsh ministers.

The Welsh and Scottish governments have claimed the EU (Withdrawal) Bill amounts to a Whitehall "power grab".

After months of talks UK ministers have tabled amendments to the proposed law.

The UK government said the changes would strengthen devolution, but Welsh Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford said the amendments were simply a "fall back option" to protect Whitehall.

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The EU (Withdrawal) Bill aims to ensure the rules currently set by European law still apply in the UK after Brexit, while giving the UK Parliament power to change them.

Under the current bill, without the amendments, powers in devolved areas that are currently wielded at EU level, such as agricultural support are set to return to Westminster rather than Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast.

Amendments to the Bill, which will need to be passed in the House of Lords, come after months of talks between the Welsh, Scottish and UK governments.

Last week UK ministers announced thelist of powersthat they would retain at a UK level, for a temporary period, including food labelling and agricultural support.

But an agreement has yet to be reached to finally resolve a row over who is responsible for what post-Brexit.

Call for general principles to be outlined explicitly in the Bill

Tory MSP Graham Simpson moves to his probing amendment 94 and is followed by his colleague Donald Cameron, whose amendment 96 calls for which general principles of EU law will be retained in Scots law.

Mr Cameron calls for the general principles to be outlined explicitly in the Bill.

Labour MSP calls for adoption of EU environmental law

Labour MSP Claudia Beamish
Labour MSP Claudia Beamish

Labour MSP Claudia Beamish speaks to her amendments which deal with environmental law.

EU law has influence domestic environmental law and these principles should be preserved, she says.

The Labour MSP also backs Tavish Scott's and Mark Ruskell's amendments in the next group which deal with similar issues.

She seeks clarification on which EU case law will be relevant and argues it is not enough to have cases in the explanatory notes.

Labour MSP Colin Smyth says his amendment deals with animal sentience, which he believes is not dealt with appropriately in current domestic law.

Labour MSP Claudia Beamish speaks to her two amendments

Labour amendments
Scottish Parliament

Here are the only two amendments from a female MSP out of 231, with Labour MSP Claudia Beamish now speaking to them.

Tory MSPs speak to amendments relating to general principles of EU law

Tory MSP Jackson Carlaw says the Law Society of Scotalnd has asked for clarification as to what general principles are retained in Scots law.

Mr Carlaw says his amendment provides further clarity.

His colleague Liam Kerr says his amendment 87 seeks to remove "more ambiguity" from the Bill.

In turn his colleague Dean Lockhart says his amendment will adress what he thinks as an oversight in the proposed legislation.

Another Tory MSP Jamie Greene also speaks to his amendments, one of which calling for a ministerial statement on what remains EU law, perhaps six months after exit.

Background: Charter of Fundamental Rights

Sandcastles with union jack and EU flag

The Charter of Fundamental Rights was approved by EU member states in 2000 - but what is it?

The European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights sets out a whole range of civil, political and social rights enjoyed by the EU's citizens.

It is divided into six chapters: Dignity, Freedom, Solidarity, Equality, Citizenship and Justice, and covers everything from workers' social rights to bioethics and the protection of personal data.

Most of the rights are contained in other documents, but they were brought together for the first time in the charter, signed at the Nice Summit in December 2000.

We're back with amendments on the general principles of EU law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights

Next amendemnts

We're back and Bruce Crawford calls amendment 85 and Tory MSP Adam Tomkins to talk to his amendments.

Mr Tomkins says the EU Continuity Bill's approach to the general principles and the Charter of Fundamental Rights is untidy.

Tory MSP Adam Tomkins
Tory MSP Adam Tomkins

Mr Tomkins says the Scottish Parliament is not free to modify the Human Rights Act, but can legislate for additioanl human rights protections for Scotland and Scots Law.

He says his amendment would maintain the position of the Charter of Fundamental Rights after exit day.

Why are we here tonight? MSPs agree emergency timetable for EU Continuity Bill

MSPs will be debating their own Brexit legislation at Holyrood
MSPs will be debating their own Brexit legislation at Holyrood

MSPs agreed to an emergency timetable to rush through the Scottish government's alternative to the EU Withdrawal Bill.

The "continuity bill" has been tabled at Holyrood in case no deal is struck with UK ministers over the Westminster legislation and devolved powers.

Prime Minister Theresa May said the bill was unnecessary and that ministers should focus on hammering out a deal.

But MSPs backed an emergency process by 86 votes to 27.

That means MSPs will look at the bill over the next three weeks.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon stressed that "we have not given up on seeking agreement with the UK government", but said bringing forward the continuity bill was "something that we required to do to protect the interests of the parliament".

Now for a short intermission.......

Now for a short intermission.......take a break for ten minutes, but make sure you come back!

MSPs and minister speak against Tory amendments, which are duly defeated

Labour MSP James Kelly  and Green MSP Patrick Harvie
Labour MSP James Kelly and Green MSP Patrick Harvie

Labour MSP James Kelly says he will oppose all the amendments in this group as the give undue legal effect to the EU Withdrawal Bill.

Green MSP Patrick Harvie also expresses his objection to all the amendments.

Brexit Minister Mike Russell says the amendments cut across the Bill and he says it makes no sense to tie the EU Continuity Bill the EUWB in this way.

Amendments 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77, 78, 80, 82, 83, 84 are all not agreed to.

Every vote had three Tory MSPs backing it with eight against.

Three Tory MSPs back each amendment in the group to no avail
Three Tory MSPs back each amendment in the group to no avail

Background: What is the Continuity Bill? Well if your watching this you probably know.....

Scottish ministers published the UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Legal Continuity) (Scotland) Bill as the latest feature of their ongoing row with the UK government over post-Brexit powers.

What is the EU Continuity Bill, how would it work, and what might happen next?

  • What's the background to this row?
  • Where does the continuity bill come in?
Talks between the two sides
  • How would it work?
  • Is this legal?
  • What is the procedure from here?
  • How could this end?

All these questions are answered by our political reporter Philip Sim.


Bill must reflect that Brexit negotiations are ongoing says Tory MSP

Tory MSP Graham Simpson says his amendment seeks to ensure the Bill reflects the final deal reached between the UK and EU regarding the European Court.

This Bill does not take account of the fact that negotiations are ongoing, he says, which could lead to problems.

Tory MSP Graham Simpson
Tory MSP Graham Simpson