20 Years of Devolution

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:36 pm on 11th July 2019.

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Photo of Stephen Kerr Stephen Kerr Conservative, Stirling 1:36 pm, 11th July 2019

The first thing I wish to say is that devolution has been a very good thing for Scotland. The Scottish Parliament has matured over the past 20 years, and so has also grown in the affections of the Scots. I am proud of the fact that the Conservative and Unionist Government have given more powers—and yet more powers to come—to the Scottish Parliament. I am also proud that so much has been achieved in the Scottish Parliament on a cross-party basis. I am certain that the best legislation in any Parliament is legislation that commands the broadest possible support.

On the subject of supporting the principle of devolved power, I was proud earlier this week to stand and be counted for the devolution settlement in the votes on the amendments that were hung on the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill like adornments on a Christmas tree. I understood then and understand now that my votes would be wilfully misinterpreted and misrepresented, but I do not regret for one moment defending the devolution settlement. Those who did not defend the devolution settlement may have reason at some future point to regret that. This place is driven by precedent: to drive a coach and horses through the devolved settlement was a big mistake for every Scottish Member of Parliament.