20:48Scottish Parliament Votes Against Giving Consent to UK's EU Withdrawal Bill

Holyrood is expected to reject the EU Withdrawal Bill as it stands in a vote this week

Lawmakers in the devolved Edinburgh assembly voted by 93 to 30 to refuse "legislative consent" for the highly-contested European Union (Withdrawal) Bill now being debated by the British parliament.

While the Scottish Parliament's refusal to back the bill will not legally prevent ministers from pressing ahead, it will increase the tensions of the impact of Brexit on devolved settlements across the UK.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the separatist Scottish National Party, said Britain is now heading into "uncharted constitutional territory" with a majority in Scotland's semi-autonomous legislature expected to oppose the bill.

Sturgeon, who took the helm of the Scottish National Party after Scots voted to reject independence in a September 2014 referendum, said it was hard to see how the Irish border issue could be resolved without the United Kingdom staying in the customs union.

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The majority of Scottish lawmakers - 93 people - cast their ballots against the bill which defines post-Brexit sharing of power between regional authorities.

Although Welsh ministers said at the time the offer did not go far enough, following further discussions they reached agreement with the United Kingdom government in April on a different proposal.

In an article in the Sunday Herald newspaper following the Scottish government's rejection of the deal, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "If our principled stance means the SNP are the only or the last party standing, defending the founding principles of devolution, then so be it".

"Let's be clear: Labour and Liberal Democrat support would not amount to backing for the UK Conservative Government".

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"There will be different opinions as to whether we should do that now or in five years or ten years' time, but with that body of opinion, a constitutional option like independence is not going to be off the table", she said.

"And giving support to the nationalists, they should be ashamed of themselves". SNP member of the Scottish parliament (MSP) Christina McKelvie said on Tuesday that clause 11 would allow Ms May's government to start dismantling the devolution framework on which the Scottish parliament is based.

Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie said MSPs needed to stand against Theresa May and Ruth Davidson's "devolution demolition squad".

Labour MSPs joined the SNP and the Greens in opposing the bill.

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Its Labour chair David Rees AM said: "We remain particularly concerned that the assembly's ability to pass laws in devolved policy areas such agriculture could be constrained by the UK Parliament, even in circumstances where the assembly has refused consent for such constraints to be imposed". He said the government would press ahead with the Bill but suggested it would be open to amending it to reflect Scottish concerns.

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