Legislative Consent

Part of Scotland – in the House of Commons on 16th March 2022.

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Photo of Alister Jack Alister Jack The Secretary of State for Scotland

I join the hon. Gentleman in welcoming the Royal Society pairs who are in London. I also thank the Labour party for its support for the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Bill—it is hugely appreciated.

On the registration of property, England and Wales changed the rules for transparency of ownership in 1999, but in Scotland they were changed in 2014. The problem we have is that, if we go back before 2014, there is a risk that third parties who did not know they were engaging with an overseas entity that was non-compliant could be hurt. That hurt would be for something they were engaged in unwillingly, and we must protect those third parties. That is the reason why we have not gone back before 2014, and the Joint Committee on the Draft Registration of Overseas Entities Bill, which reviewed the draft legislation, agreed with that, but I have every sympathy with the points the hon. Gentleman makes.