We need your support to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can continue to hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Scotland Bill — Committee (5th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:15 pm on 21st March 2012.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Conservative 6:15 pm, 21st March 2012

My Lords, we have had an interesting debate. To rescue the Minister, I think that paragraph 3 is headed,

"Further devolution in the future", which qualifies the sentence,

"The Government is open to considering what further powers might be devolved after a referendum on independence".

I think that it clearly means that it is after the referendum.

I noticed that my noble friend did not answer my question when I asked what he could be thinking of, given the scope and nature of the Bill. As I get older, I get more and more interested in gardening. One thing that I have learnt is that it is a big mistake to pull plants up and move them before they have had a chance to settle and put down roots. It seems rather odd that we are discussing a Bill where the tax proposals will not come into effect until 2015-16. The noble Lord, Lord Kerr, wants us to start thinking about further devolution now. If you are going to plant this prickly sort of bush, it is probably a good idea to see whether any flowers are going to appear on it before deciding whether you are going to do more planting. I hope that my noble friend will not be tempted to expand the meaning of that sentence.

I am still unclear about the Government's policy on legislative consent Motions. I am not clear whether they regard them as something which they are prepared to override, but I am clear why the Government do not want to say what they think about that. I entirely agree with my noble and learned friend's analysis of the role of Section 30. I am fascinated, as we move on to the debate on referenda, to hear from him precisely what he is going to do if he cannot get the Scottish Parliament to consent to a Section 30 proposal that contains the conditions which have been clearly laid out by the Prime Minister on a referendum.

In order that we can get to that issue as quickly as possible, I beg leave to withdraw my amendment.

Amendment 85 withdrawn.

Amendments 85A and 86 not moved.

Amendment 87

Moved by Lord Foulkes of Cumnock

87: Clause 43, page 33, line 2, at end insert-

"( ) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section, no provision of this Act may come into force until a referendum has been held in accordance with section (Referendum about Scottish independence)."