20 Years of Devolution

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:57 pm on 11th July 2019.

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Photo of Pete Wishart Pete Wishart Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Constitution), Shadow SNP Leader of the House of Commons, Chair, Scottish Affairs Committee 2:57 pm, 11th July 2019

I thank everybody for contributing to the debate. We know it will be a good debate when it is contrived between the Scottish Affairs Committee and the Welsh Affairs Committee. It was good to see so many members of both Committees taking part.

I have just a couple of reflections on what I have heard today. First, it is really encouraging that no one now talks about abolishing or doing away with the Scottish Parliament or the Welsh Assembly. They are such a feature in our democratic tapestry that no one even suggests that anymore. Secondly—I think that Stephen Kerr mentioned this—not one contribution was made by an English Member of Parliament, and that sort of says a little about the interest that there is across the United Kingdom—[Interruption.] Well, the Minister has to make a speech, of course, but I think that says something about the interests in devolution across the rest of the United Kingdom, which was reflected in the poll disputed by the Scottish Conservatives that found that members of the Conservative party are probably more interested in Brexit than the Union.

We all look forward to what will come in terms of devolution, but can I say ever so gently to Mr Sweeney—I also congratulate him on his first outing at the Dispatch Box—that we have spent £500 million mitigating Tory austerity in the Scottish Parliament? We cannot be a mitigation Parliament; the money has to come from other budgets, so let us look positively at how we go forward. I am glad that we have now agreed and that this is now a firm feature in our democracy, but let us look forward to the next 20 years, too.

Question put and agreed to.

Resolved,

That this House
has considered 20 years of devolution.