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Scotland Bill — Committee (5th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:45 pm on 21st March 2012.

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Photo of Lord Foulkes of Cumnock Lord Foulkes of Cumnock Labour 3:45 pm, 21st March 2012

That is a point on which I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Forsyth. Indeed, I have a Question down for next Monday asking when the result of the consultation will be published. I had expected it to be published before now, and certainly for this debate-and, if not, at least for Monday's debate. However, we also have the information contained in the Statement made today by the Secretary of State. It makes substantial progress-we will discuss this later-in its reference to transferring tax and borrowing powers, ensuring that the new borrowing regime is sustainable and securing further devolution in future.

As someone who favours devolution, I find all these moves very positive. It is very encouraging to see that agreement has been reached. It is also very helpful to have this Statement so that our debate this afternoon can be informed by the details of the agreement that has been reached. I share with the noble Lord, Lord Forsyth, some reservations about the general way in which the Bill has been dealt with, but in the past few days-in particular, thanks to the noble and learned Lord, Lord Wallace-we have been helped to make the debate better informed and more accessible.