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Scotland Bill — Committee (5th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 9:15 pm on 21st March 2012.

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Photo of Lord Foulkes of Cumnock Lord Foulkes of Cumnock Labour 9:15 pm, 21st March 2012

My noble friend is a former Member of the Scottish Parliament, as I am, and I thought it was very interesting that the suggestion came from the noble Lord, Lord McConnell, himself a former First Minister of Scotland, as he has a great deal of knowledge about this. I think that is a very interesting suggestion, which I hope the Minister will feed into the discussions that are taking place. If the Scottish Parliament or Scottish Executive suggests one question and we are sticking to another one, perhaps there could be agreement on two counterbalancing questions-questions that have different outcomes-for which people could vote positively. In other words, no one would vote negatively; everyone would vote positively for their option. I think that is a very good suggestion.

The fact that these things have been suggested shows, as I hope my noble friend agrees, the value of these debates, the value of Committee stage and the value of the House of Lords. Earlier we were talking about tweets, and I have been getting tweets asking what right I have, as someone who is not elected, to make any comments on this. I can understand the politer ones that raise that question, notwithstanding the fact that I was an elected representative for many years. One of the answers is that debates in this place, as we have had today and previously, can come up with very useful suggestions which can move things forward in a very positive way. I beg to move.

Amendment 92 had been withdrawn from the Marshalled List.

Amendment 93(to Amendment 91)

Moved by Lord Steel of Aikwood

93: Before Clause 10, line 14, at end insert "and the Scottish Parliament.

( ) Such a referendum must be administered by the Electoral Commission."