Scotland Bill — Third Reading

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 3:45 pm on 21st March 2016.

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Photo of Lord Keen of Elie Lord Keen of Elie The Advocate-General for Scotland 3:45 pm, 21st March 2016

There is no strict requirement to go into the definition of “devolved matters” at this stage, but it is perfectly clear from the amendment that the noble and learned Lord originally intimated that he contemplated it listing only the matters in Schedule 5 to the Act. I appreciate that in making observations in this House he qualified that statement, but the point is that the question of what is reserved goes well beyond Schedule 5 and includes all those protected enactments in Part 1 of Schedule 4.

The point that I was going to come to is this: one of the protected enactments is the Human Rights Act. This Government were elected upon a manifesto to address the Human Rights Act and to amend its terms by way of a Bill of Rights. That matter will be addressed in due course, but this is not the time or the place to consider what the implications of that may or may not be in the context of all the devolved Administrations in the United Kingdom. I would not consider it appropriate to go there.