Results 1–20 of 38 for speaker:Lord Offord of Garvel OR speaker:Lord Offord of Garvel

Scotland Act 1998: Section 35 Power - Statement (18 Jan 2023)

Lord Offord of Garvel: The Equality Act 2010, to which this Government are entirely committed, is a reserved matter. On the basis that we have a unitary state in the United Kingdom, we believe that it is a key matter that must be applied equally across all four nations of the United Kingdom. That is precisely why we are concerned that the Bill passed in Scotland, putting aside the merits of the case, will have an...

Scotland Act 1998: Section 35 Power - Statement (18 Jan 2023)

Lord Offord of Garvel: The noble Baroness’s well-informed comments indicate the sensitivities that we are dealing with in Scotland and the wider UK. The Bill as its stands risks creating significant complications from two different gender recognition regimes in the UK, which could allow for more of the fraudulent or bad-faith applications that we are very worried about. Adverse effects could include impacts on...

Scotland Act 1998: Section 35 Power - Statement (18 Jan 2023)

Lord Offord of Garvel: Yes, I agree with the noble Baroness. What is happening is that the boundaries of devolution are being pushed to the limit. Perhaps the architects at the time did not anticipate that we would be here on such an issue, but they put Section 35 into the Act for a reason. It was there at the start and it was voted for by the SNP. It is a means to enable devolution and allow it to work, and to...

Scotland Act 1998: Section 35 Power - Statement (18 Jan 2023)

Lord Offord of Garvel: On one level, we are just in the legal mechanics at this point, because concerns were raised by the UK Government—and by many other credible groups—with the Scottish Government, and those were not taken care of in the passing of the Bill. That now moves into a four-week legal process under Section 35 of the Scotland Act 1998 for us to reject the Bill and for it not to go to Royal Assent....

Scotland Act 1998: Section 35 Power - Statement (18 Jan 2023)

Lord Offord of Garvel: A number of these matters lie fundamentally in another place and in another department. Right now, the Scotland Office is in a situation where, under the architecture, it is pressing the button on Section 35. The Bill now goes back to the Scottish Government, and discussions need to be had with the relevant UK department on this matter. That will require discussion with the UK Minister for...

Scotland Act 1998: Section 35 Power - Statement (18 Jan 2023)

Lord Offord of Garvel: I thank the noble and learned Lord for his contribution. As a former Supreme Court judge, he knows these matters very well. I completely agree that it would be a waste of public money to go to the courts. In fact, in pressing that button, it was almost as if that was anticipated. Therefore, we need to get around the table and discuss this issue. The UK Government have consulted on this...

Scotland Act 1998: Section 35 Power - Statement (18 Jan 2023)

Lord Offord of Garvel: I thank my noble friend, and I agree. We are in a situation now where we cannot proceed, on the basis that the Scottish Government have pushed forward with the Bill, it has come to us and we have to consider it under Section 35. It needs further consideration. That is why Section 35 has been triggered.

Scotland Act 1998: Section 35 Power - Statement (18 Jan 2023)

Lord Offord of Garvel: That just indicates the sensitivity of the matter we are dealing with. On the face of it, the Scottish Government Bill allows the Equality Act to continue, because the GRC works within the architecture of that Act, but the Bill has changed the criteria for applying for that GRC, and that has a significant impact, as we have discussed. Therefore, it will need to be discussed in detail and...

Scotland Act 1998: Section 35 Power - Statement (18 Jan 2023)

Lord Offord of Garvel: My Lords, it is only after very careful consideration that the Secretary of State for Scotland has decided to make an order under Section 35 of the Scotland Act 1998 to prevent the Scottish Parliament’s Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill from proceeding to Royal Assent. He has considered policy and legal advice and determined that he has reasonable grounds to believe that the Bill...

Previous Business – Lords: Grand Committee (17 Jan 2023)

Transport (Scotland) Act 2019 (Consequential Provisions and Modifications) Order 2023 – Lord Offord of Garvel. Orders and regulations

Scottish Independence - Question (7 Dec 2022)

Lord Offord of Garvel: My Lords, I can answer the Question from the noble Lord, Lord Foulkes, by confirming that His Majesty’s Government have had no discussions with the Scottish Government about the recent policy paper entitled Building a New Scotland: A Stronger Economy with Independence, dated 22 October. This is the third of seven glossy documents currently being produced by the Scottish Government as they...

Scottish Independence - Question (7 Dec 2022)

Lord Offord of Garvel: As the noble Lord was an active parliamentarian at that time, I am sure he can confirm that the devolution settlement enacted in the Scotland Act 1998 did not envisage a scenario where the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood would act in confrontation, instead of in co-operation, with Westminster. The Scotland Act assumed there would be a very clear demarcation between reserved and devolved...

Scottish Independence - Question (7 Dec 2022)

Lord Offord of Garvel: The noble Lord should be well aware that Gordon Brown has been on this journey for quite a while; he proposes a federal United Kingdom. But when one of the four nations has 85% of the population and 90% of the wealth and it does not want devolution, you have a problem. So I agree with the noble Lord that devolution did not kill independence stone dead, but I am very clear that the Scottish...

Scottish Independence - Question (7 Dec 2022)

Lord Offord of Garvel: The noble Lord is obviously well versed in the Scottish economy and Scottish affairs. I make two observations on the paper, the glossy document. First, as we have come to expect from a Scottish Government with 27 Ministers and 56 press officers, for every policy initiative there is a glossy document and a glitzy, headline-making press release. The problem the Scottish people have, which we...

Scottish Independence - Question (7 Dec 2022)

Lord Offord of Garvel: As we have said many times in this Chamber, the Scottish people had their say in 2014. Some 3.6 million Scots voted: 84% of the electorate. It was the highest turnout anywhere other than Australia, where it is compulsory to vote. In it, 2 million voted to stay and 1.6 million voted to leave. That is a decisive result.

Scottish Independence - Question (7 Dec 2022)

Lord Offord of Garvel: The noble Lord has great knowledge of these matters. The UK Government have just announced £4 billion of new shipbuilding orders coming to the Clyde and Rosyth. It has been noted that in the last five years the naval shipyards in Scotland have built four frigates while the SNP cannot get two rusting ferries off the dock. It is very clear that we have great competence and strength in our...

Scottish Independence - Question (7 Dec 2022)

Lord Offord of Garvel: I agree with the noble Lord; 60% of Scottish trade is with England, 20% is with the EU and 20% is international. This is part of the issue not addressed in the paper. I point to a couple of observations. The IFS has said of the paper that “Scotland’s much higher levels of public spending … mean that it … would need to make bigger cuts to … spending or … increases to taxes”....

Scottish Independence - Question (7 Dec 2022)

Lord Offord of Garvel: That is quite a long shopping list. We can see the strength of the United Kingdom in the measures recently put forward to address the cost of living crisis, which are distributed equally across all four parts of the United Kingdom. Scotland is a major beneficiary of those and is funded much more securely within the United Kingdom than it would be as an independent country.

Scottish Referendum Legislation: Supreme Court Judgement - Commons Urgent Question (24 Nov 2022)

Lord Offord of Garvel: My Lords, the UK Government note and respect the unanimous ruling by the Supreme Court that the Scottish Government do not have legislative competence to hold a referendum. The people of Scotland want both our Governments to concentrate all our attention and resources on the issues that matter most to them. That is why we in the UK Government are focused on restoring economic stability,...

Scottish Referendum Legislation: Supreme Court Judgement - Commons Urgent Question (24 Nov 2022)

Lord Offord of Garvel: The noble Lord will be aware that under the devolution settlement the UK Government do not prescribe to the Scottish Government how to spend the money sent north of the border. That allows the Scottish Government to make grown-up decisions on their own behalf and on behalf of the people of Scotland. The judgment of the Supreme Court has given us helpful clarity on the difference, which we all...


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