Alcohol Sales

Oral Answers to Questions — Scotland – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 15th November 2005.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Conservative, Rochford and Southend East 2:30 pm, 15th November 2005

What discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues about the sale of alcohol on public transport between Scotland and England.

Photo of Alistair Darling Alistair Darling The Secretary of State for Scotland, The Secretary of State for Transport

There are no proposals to amend the provisions with regard to the sale of alcohol on public transport between Scotland and England.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge Conservative, Rochford and Southend East

I thank the Secretary of State for that clarification, but he will forgive me for not having been really sure. One thing seems to be happening in Scotland and the Home Secretary seems to be doing another in England. I can forgive the Secretary of State for Transport for not communicating with the Home Secretary, but can he explain why the Secretary of State for Scotland has problems communicating with the Secretary of State for Transport on rail matters, given that it is himself? Can he clarify those matters?

Photo of Alistair Darling Alistair Darling The Secretary of State for Scotland, The Secretary of State for Transport

I understand the disappointment when a Member asks a question and receives an answer that he was not expecting. All I can say to the hon. Gentleman and the House is that there are no proposals to change the law.

Photo of Jim Sheridan Jim Sheridan PPS (Team PPS), Ministry of Defence

Does my right hon. Friend have any concerns about the sale or consumption of alcohol on public transport between Scotland and England? As far as I am concerned, there is nothing wrong with having a sensible drink and perhaps a meal while travelling on the train from Scotland to England.

Photo of Alistair Darling Alistair Darling The Secretary of State for Scotland, The Secretary of State for Transport

I agree. Many people enjoy a drink on train services between Scotland and England, as they do on aeroplanes. As I said, the Government have absolutely no plans to change the law in that regard, nor have they any plans to change the law with regard to the consumption of alcohol on trains generally in England—in other words, on the non cross-border services. There are no plans to change the law at all.

Photo of Eleanor Laing Eleanor Laing Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland

That was an interesting answer. Did the Secretary of State hear the Home Secretary speaking today at great length about promoting responsible drinking? Does he intend to promote responsible drinking in Scotland, too?

Photo of Alistair Darling Alistair Darling The Secretary of State for Scotland, The Secretary of State for Transport

All of us would sign up to the proposition that people should act responsibly at all times whether they are on public transport, in a pub, on the street or wherever. That makes sense north or south of the border.