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Committee (2nd Day) (Continued)

Part of Scotland Bill – in the House of Lords at 4:15 pm on 2nd February 2012.

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Photo of Lord Foulkes of Cumnock Lord Foulkes of Cumnock Labour 4:15 pm, 2nd February 2012

On every previous occasion, I have said that I am really grateful to the Minister for listening carefully to the arguments and being sympathetic, accepting some of the arguments and going away and looking at the amendment. In this case, I am disappointed. I could have gone on at much greater length arguing the case, but I have some concern for my noble friends the eminent lawyers from Scotland and we need to get on to the issue of the Supreme Court. However, this is an important issue. The trade unions feel strongly about it. I know that the Scottish Government would welcome this change. It seemed to have some support in the House of Commons, and would be a coherent arrangement.

The noble Earl, Lord Mar and Kellie, is a very quietly spoken Member of this House and always speaks exceptionally briefly, but in this case his point was really quite a remarkable Exocet. In his brilliant intervention, he said that whereas there could be no public ownership so far as Britain was concerned, in relation to United Kingdom interests, French, German or Dutch railways-all three are publically owned-would have no problem at all in buying into and taking over this franchise. That is a serious anomaly. It might be best to have some kind of United Kingdom or Scottish structure different from the current ScotRail structure to deal with it. I hope that the Minister will give further consideration to this between now and Report so that we can avoid a rather longer debate then. Nevertheless, I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 26A withdrawn.

Amendment 26B

Moved by Lord Sewel

26B: After Clause 14, insert the following new Clause-

"Nuclear Power

In Part 2 of Schedule 5 to the 1998 Act, under head D4 (nuclear energy) omit-

"Exceptions

The subject-matter of-

(a) Part I of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, and

(b) the Radioactive Substances Act 1993.""