Scotland Bill - Committee (3rd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:00 pm on 22nd February 2016.

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Photo of Lord Hollick Lord Hollick Chair, Economic Affairs Committee, Chair, Finance Bill Sub-Committee, Chair, Finance Bill Sub-Committee, Chair, Economic Affairs Committee 4:00 pm, 22nd February 2016

My Lords, the Economic Affairs Committee, which I chair, and the Constitution Committee both concluded after extensive inquiry that, in the absence of any information about the fiscal framework, it will be impossible for the House to assess whether the Bill will cause detriment to all or part of the United Kingdom. As the noble Lord, Lord Forsyth, pointed out, we are talking about billions of pounds which could move between the rest of the United Kingdom and Scotland, so this is no small matter.

I think the Government have accepted the logic of that position, which is why we are taking Parts 2 and 3 out of order in today’s Committee. In his opening remarks, the Minister said that there will be ample opportunity on Report to scrutinise the fiscal framework. If, as he has hinted and as newspapers have reported, the fiscal framework is to be published in the next few days, would he agree that ample scrutiny can take place only if the procedural rules of Committee stage are applied to Report stage? Will the Minister confirm that he and his noble friend the Chief Whip will press for that?