New Clause 11 — Time

Part of Financial Services (Regulation of Derivatives) – in the House of Commons at 8:45 pm on 15th March 2011.

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Photo of Angus MacNeil Angus MacNeil Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Transport), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Constitutional Reform), Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Scotland) 8:45 pm, 15th March 2011

I say to the hon. Gentleman, tongue in cheek, that it is “Maybe surrender” from the DUP.

The point is not about using that power, but about the authority that comes from having it. It is about having that club in the golf bag or in the locker. That speaks to a wider problem with devolution: the UK Parliament can potentially take damaging action against a nation of the Union, but that nation’s Parliament or Assembly has, in the main, no redress and must accept the action. This might sound a bit drastic, but the way the Scotland Act is designed ensures that the UK Government, for better or worse, have unilateral power to make substantial decisions for the entire UK, regardless of what another part of the UK thinks.

Of course, Members should be reminded that “UK Government” does not mean this Parliament, as we saw with the Scottish Adjacent Waters Boundaries Order 1999, which affected 6,000 square miles of Scottish waters, as was mentioned earlier. I understand that the current Government are not committed to changing the clocks, but I would sleep much better at night if we could ensure that a clock change would have to be agreed by the Scots Parliament and that we had that power in Scotland before it took effect. It speaks volumes that the opposition to independence, and even to full fiscal autonomy or control over time, is full of the politics of fear.