Scotland Act 1998 (Transfer of Functions to the Scottish Ministers etc.) Order 2019 - Motion to Approve

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:49 pm on 10th April 2019.

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Photo of Lord Duncan of Springbank Lord Duncan of Springbank Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Northern Ireland Office), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland 4:49 pm, 10th April 2019

My Lords, it is necessary to bring forward this order to confirm the regulation-making powers of the Scottish Ministers under Section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972. This order is made under Sections 30 and 63 of the Scotland Act 1998 and seeks to confirm the powers of the Scottish Ministers regarding environmental impact assessments on certain public and private projects—I shall call these EIAs. These assessments are carried out in relation to renewable electricity generating stations located in the Scottish part of the renewable energy zone under regulations that implement an EIA directive.

The UK Government and the Scottish Government have agreed to take this order forward following an initial request from the Scottish Government. The order specifies functions which are to be treated as exercisable in or as regards Scotland and transfers these functions to the Scottish Ministers. While the generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity are reserved matters, since 1999 functions relating to electricity have been transferred to the Scottish Ministers. This order provides confirmation that the Scottish Ministers have EIA regulatory functions in respect of the Scottish part of the renewable energy zone, thus confirming that the UK meets its obligations to transpose the 2014 EIA directive.

The Government have worked closely with the Scottish Government at ministerial and official level to ensure that the order confirms the current legal position of the Scottish Ministers. On that basis, I beg to move.