Scotland Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:11 pm on 27th January 2011.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Pete Wishart Pete Wishart Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Culture and Sport), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Constitution) 1:11 pm, 27th January 2011

Now that we have resolved that little matter, I beg to move an amendment, to leave out from "That" to the end of the Question and add:

That this House, while recognising the need to further enhance the powers of the Scottish Parliament, nevertheless believes that the measures the Scotland Bill seeks to devolve are inadequate to meet the ambitions of the Scottish Government for the people of Scotland; considers the measures relating to air weapons, road safety and drink driving to be incomplete; regrets that the Calman Commission's recommendations to devolve the aggregates levy and air passenger duty, and to devolve responsibility for the marine environment to match the Scottish Parliament's responsibility for fisheries, as well as its proposal for a Scottish role in welfare benefits, have all been abandoned; regards the proposals for the Crown Estates Commission as inadequate; deplores the proposals in the Bill to re-reserve already devolved responsibilities; concludes that the tax varying provisions would embed a long-term deflationary bias in Scotland's budget and that the proposed borrowing powers remaining subject to HM Treasury controls and limits render them insufficiently flexible; and therefore considers the Bill as a whole to be unacceptable.

I welcome the Second Reading of this Conservative-led Government's Scotland Bill, and, like my hon. Friends, look forward to debating the further transfer of powers and responsibilities to the Scottish Government. The House will find the Scottish National party a willing and diligent partner in ensuring that the Bill is debated properly. What we have seen today, however, is remarkable. We have seen a Liberal Secretary of State for Scotland lead, on behalf of a Conservative-led Government, a debate on a Conservative-led Scotland Bill that was initiated in the Scottish Parliament by a former leader of the Scottish Labour party. This is cross-Unionist consensus in all its Conservative-led glory. I believe that, given the consequent lack of scrutiny that will be offered by Her Majesty's Opposition, along with the disappearance of what remains of independent thought on the Liberal Benches, the task of scrutinising the Bill will be left to the Scottish National party. It is we who will scrutinise the Bill in the interests of the Scottish people, and we will do so most diligently and sincerely.