Scotland Bill - Report (2nd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 8:15 pm on 29th February 2016.

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Photo of Lord Dunlop Lord Dunlop The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland 8:15 pm, 29th February 2016

I am not sure I will be able to satisfy the noble and learned Lord on that point because I have learned not to deal in hypotheticals or to speculate about what might happen in five years’ time. As I say, I think the conditions that pertain then will be favourable to reaching an agreement and I am confident that we will reach an agreement at that time.

On the amendments relating to the fiscal framework being approved by Parliament, the Government do not believe it would be appropriate to subject the framework as a whole to approval by both Houses. Many aspects of the fiscal framework are administrative, not legislative, and the need to update these aspects requires a degree of flexibility. There is also no precedent for these non-legislative aspects to require parliamentary approval; for example, the block grant adjustment mechanism arising from the power to devolve under the Scotland Act 2012 was not subject to separate parliamentary approval.