Committee (4th Day)

Part of Scotland Bill – in the House of Lords at 12:45 pm on 15th March 2012.

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Photo of Lord Wallace of Tankerness Lord Wallace of Tankerness Lords Spokesperson (Attorney General's Office), Lords Spokesperson (Wales Office), The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lords Spokesperson (Scotland Office) 12:45 pm, 15th March 2012

I agree with much of what the noble Lord says. He is right to point out that prorogation is sooner rather than later and that it is necessary to get Royal Assent before that. As has been acknowledged, it is not for United Kingdom government Ministers to table the legislative consent Motion, but the Scottish Government are well aware of the proposed timings and of the stages when any amendments would have to be laid so that your Lordships' House would have adequate opportunity to discuss them.

Before I gave way to the noble Lord, I was about to indicate that I hoped it would be possible to update your Lordships before Report on intergovernmental discussions. It would not be helpful-and no doubt many of your Lordships present have engaged in such negotiations-for negotiations to take place by telegraphing from one parliamentary Chamber to another. That would be counterproductive. However, I reassure your Lordships that serious efforts are being made to reach agreement. Given the point made by my noble friend Lord Forsyth about the important issues we have to debate today, I hope we can agree to move into Committee so that we can get on and debate them.