Nobody has intimated to me—formally—any illegality. If anyone thinks that any illegality connects to my ministerial office by way of a devolution issue, there is a simple procedure to deal with that. However, it seems to me that this is not a devolution issue.
Has the Advocate-General had the opportunity to consider the provisions in the Civil Partnership Bill relating to survivor pension provision? Is she aware that the survivor in a civil partnership will receive a pension based on a calculation taken from the date of enactment, whereas the survivor in a marriage will receive a pension based on their entire length of service? Does she agree that that is an inequitable situation that will leave the Bill vulnerable to a human rights challenge? Will she consider that point and offer the appropriate advice to her colleagues in the Department of Trade and Industry?
I am aware of the policy intentions that have been publicised, but any advice that I give will not be public.
As a signatory to the European charter for regional and minority languages, the Government are obliged to provide a Gaelic language TV channel. Broadcasting is a reserved power, but in 1999 secondary legislation transferred the funding of Gaelic language programmes to Scottish Ministers. There appear to be endless discussions between UK Ministers and Scottish Ministers on the subject, with no progress being made. Will the Advocate-General inform the House where responsibility lies for ensuring that the UK meets its treaty obligations to provide a Gaelic language TV channel?
The obligations will always technically be on the state, which is, of course, the United Kingdom, but implementation can be tackled in various ways, as has been done through orders. In the case of any challenge, and if the matter were raised formally in court, for example, the European Court of Justice, the state would have to answer it.
Will my hon. and learned Friend use her considerable legal skills to look into the especially difficult problem of leading a Scottish-based party from London and consider whether a Sewel motion might help?
Order. I do not think that the Advocate-General needs to answer that.