Scotland Bill — Committee (1st Day) (Continued)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:45 pm on 26th January 2012.

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Photo of The Duke of Montrose The Duke of Montrose Conservative 4:45 pm, 26th January 2012

My Lords, perhaps my noble and learned friend could help me. As time has passed and habit has developed, we have found that the Scottish Parliament can discuss anything that it wishes, and express opinions. If something like the amendment of the noble Lord, Lord Foulkes, was passed, it would be limited to things that it wished to refer to this Parliament. Of course, discussion on the question of a referendum is probably something that the Scottish Government could say was referable to this Parliament. My noble and learned friend talked about the resolutions that were passed by the noble Lord, Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale, on helping Malawi. Is there any limit to the amount of money that the Scottish Government can spend on things that are not devolved? It would be interesting in particular to know how much money they would be allowed to spend on a referendum. My noble and learned friend will know that there is an 80-page Bill attached to the consultative paper that was produced by the Scottish Parliament. It did not just drop out of the sky in a pre-formed manner. A great deal of time and expense was put into it.