Scotland Bill - Report (2nd Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 10:00 pm on 29th February 2016.

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Photo of Lord McFall of Alcluith Lord McFall of Alcluith Labour 10:00 pm, 29th February 2016

Yet again, the noble Lord has got it wrong—it was me who said that. However, let us finish on a positive note tonight. First, I would like to thank the Delegated Powers Committee for its report, because it was very clear at the beginning that the Scotland Office provided a delegated powers memorandum, the explanation of which was inadequate. As a result of that, I thank the noble and learned Lord, Lord Hope, for tabling these amendments, and the noble Lord, Lord Norton of Louth, who made an excellent speech last time on the Henry VIII powers.

The Law Society of Scotland was mentioned, and Michael Clancy has been sitting in the box for many weeks, although he is not there tonight. He has been helping us—and I well remember taking over the shadow Home Affairs responsibility in the 1990s for the Labour Party, when Michael was helping one and all political parties. So I thank him, too.

As the noble Lord, Lord Forsyth, said, it is better to have half a loaf than none. It is important to say that the Government have not outlined totally why the consequential powers are required in Parts 1, 4, 5 and 6, in every other respect. Perhaps the Minister will at this stage give your Lordships’ House some indication of the type of saving powers that the Government expect to propose. As the noble and learned Lord, Lord Hope, said in Committee, if we are going to keep faith with what we are trying to achieve, the Government have to go that step further. With those comments, I commend the work that noble Lords have done and the response that the Government have given to the suggestions.