WHETHER or not Scotland has won the right to have a Continuity Bill in order to prevent a Westminster power grab is to be decided next week.

It was announced yesterday that the UK Supreme Court will issue its decision on whether the Scottish Government’s Continuity Bill is legal next Thursday.

The decision is set to be made two days after a meaningful vote on the Brexit deal is held in the House of Commons.

During the case, and before the Supreme Court in July, the Advocate General for Scotland, Lord Richard Sanderson Keen, Baron Keen of Elie, reduced the Tory government’s argument to one simple sentence: “The UK Parliament is sovereign, the Scottish Parliament is not.”

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As the senior legal adviser to the UK Government on Scots law, Keen argued that the Continuity Bill relates to international relations, which is a power reserved to Parliament and thus beyond the powers of the Scottish Parliament.

The Scottish Government’s view is that the UK Government’s definition of “international relations” is excessively broad and that the bill is needed because it is the only legal way for the Scottish Parliament to deal with the domestic effects of Brexit.

Before the Supreme Court, Lord Keen argued that the Continuity Bill affects the powers of the UK Parliament as it gives Scottish ministers a veto over changes made by UK ministers to retained EU law in devolved areas – the power grab, in other words.

The Scottish Government’s case is that the bill simply regulates the exercise of executive powers in devolved areas, which is within the powers of the Scottish Parliament.

Ironically, given subsequent events, it was Lord Keen who said that Scotland cannot legislate for a prospective future scenario of UK withdrawal – nor, it appears now, does the Tory government he serves.

Around that time Lord Keen said the UK Withdrawal Act was to create a single and consistent UK-wide regime by which EU law can be brought into domestic law.

He argued that the Continuity Bill would create a new sub-category of devolved EU law that would frustrate the will of the “sovereign Parliament” as “the UK Parliament is sovereign, the Scottish Parliament is not”.

As The National pointed out at the time, in both Scots law and the Westminster-approved Claim of Right, “sovereignty in Scotland resides with the people of Scotland and they and they alone must define the future of this country”.

The whole case may be rendered completely redundant if as expected, the so-called meaningful vote on Tuesday goes against Theresa May’s government and the whole Article 50 process has to go back to square one or is rejected in a fresh referendum.

A legal expert told The National that the UK Supreme Court justices would still issue their judgement.

“If it goes against the UK Government,” he added, “they will only have one course of action to fight on, and that is to take the case to the European Court of Justice, but they cannot even contemplate doing such a thing as they’d be a laughing stock.”