House of Commons Library

The Sewel Convention

Published Friday, June 15, 2018

Emergency Debate: Sewel Convention - Monday 18 June 2018

Ian Blackford MP has secured an Emergency Debate for Monday 18 June 2018 on the motion:

"That this House has considered the validity of the Sewel Convention"

This debate has been sought in light of events that took place in the House of Commons on Tuesday 12 June 2018. The UK Government moved amendments to the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill in relation to the devolution settlements in the House of Lords at Report stage. These amendments were agreed to on 12 June by the Commons after only 18 minutes of substantive debate as a result of:

  • the Programming Motion approved in relation to the Bill; and
  • the time taken to vote on other Lords amendments earlier in the day.

The Scottish Parliament withheld consent for the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill in a motion on 15 May 2018. If the UK Parliament were to press ahead with Royal Assent for the Bill without its consent, this would be an unprecedented situation for the Scottish devolution settlement.

The Sewel Convention concerns the self-denying ordinance of the UK Parliament that it will "not normally legislate with regard to devolved matters without the consent of" the affected devolved legislature.

The House of Commons Library has two briefing papers covering this matter:

Brexit: Devolution and legislative consent (CBP 8274)

and

Legislative consent and the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill (CBP 8275)

Commons Debate packs CDP-2018-0150

Author: Graeme Cowie

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