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Brexit 'a fundamental challenge' to the future of the UK say Lords

19 July 2017

The European Union Committee publishes its report on Brexit and devolution, concluding that on the day of Brexit, all powers currently exercised by the EU will 'by default, be exercised in accordance with… pre-existing statutory provisions'.

Key findings

The Committee highlights the complex 'overlapping and shared competences' within the devolution settlements, describing the supremacy of EU law as the 'glue holding together the United Kingdom's single market'.  Brexit makes it more important than ever that any further reform of the devolution settlements should be underpinned by a clear and agreed framework of principles.

The Committee calls on the UK Government and the devolved Governments to work constructively together to deliver a Brexit that protects the interests of all parts of the UK.

The report also considers the impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland.

Northern Ireland

  • The Committee restates its previous conclusion that the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland will require unique, 'flexible and imaginative solutions'.


  • The Committee notes that the Welsh economy is heavily dependent on exports to the EU, and that Welsh manufacturing would be hard hit by a failure to agree a comprehensive trade deal with the EU.


  • The Committee concludes that any Brexit deal should accommodate Scotland's particular needs, including its reliance upon EU migration to meet both labour market and demographic needs.

Further information

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