Scotland Bill - Report (2nd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:01 pm on 29th February 2016.

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Photo of Lord Dunlop Lord Dunlop The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland 6:01 pm, 29th February 2016

My Lords, Clause 44 devolves power to the Scottish Parliament for regulation of licences to search and bore for petroleum in the Scottish onshore area. Clause 45 transfers the functions of the Secretary of State to the Scottish Ministers. However, as consideration payable for such licences is to remain reserved to Westminster, Clause 45(8) retains the power of the Secretary of State to make model clauses on the consideration payable for a licence granted by the Scottish Ministers, and on matters related to the keeping of accounts and the measurement of petroleum.

Amendment 46 would revise Clause 45(8) to ensure that the Secretary of State’s enforcement ability in relation to such reserved matters is preserved for licences in onshore Scotland. This will be achieved by maintaining the Secretary of State’s current power to cancel licences in onshore Scotland, applicable only for infringements in relation to consideration payable for a licence, the keeping of accounts and the measurement of petroleum related to consideration and taxation. Nothing in this amendment changes the powers being devolved to the Scottish Parliament. A definition of “appropriate Minister” under Clause 45(5) is removed, as this is redundant in light of Clause 45(17). I therefore beg to move Amendment 45.