Amendment 3 is a technical amendment and will provide a choice of parliamentary procedure—either negative or affirmative—when an order is made that affects the application of the local connection provisions in the 1987 act. The amendment reflects the flexible way in which the provisions may be
I move amendment 3.
We have concerns about amendment 3. In our view, if amendment 3 is passed, ministers will have the right to impose secondary legislation in an important area of public policy rather than having it approved by Parliament. In the stage 2 debate, Des McNulty made the point that the Subordinate Legislation Committee had recommended an affirmative statutory instrument rather than a negative one. Mr McNulty said:
"The Subordinate Legislation Committee's recommendations at stage 1 form the basis for the provisions of amendment 17. That committee expressed concerns that the appropriate subordinate power should be used."—[Official Report, Social Justice Committee, 15 January 2003; c 3357.]
Amendment 17 was the amendment that brought in the use of the statutory instrument. It was an Executive amendment following the recommendations of the Subordinate Legislation Committee. Having used the committee recommendation as a bolster to get that amendment agreed to at stage 2, the Executive now wants to run counter to the arguments of the committee in forcing through this amendment. I therefore ask all colleagues to oppose it.
I hear what Kenny Gibson has said and I am aware of the discussions that took place at stage 2. I assure the Parliament that the affirmative instrument will be used for the major issues. The negative instrument is for only the very technical issues. We have been advised carefully that that is the appropriate procedure in this context. We must have some degree of common sense in applying the power. It would not be appropriate for minor, technical issues to undergo major consideration. I guarantee to the Parliament that all major changes will be made through the affirmative procedure.
Division number 8
For: Aitken, Bill, Alexander, Ms Wendy, Baillie, Jackie, Brankin, Rhona, Brown, Robert, Butler, Bill, Chisholm, Malcolm, Craigie, Cathie, Curran, Ms Margaret, Deacon, Susan, Douglas-Hamilton, Lord James, Eadie, Helen, Finnie, Ross, Fraser, Murdo, Gallie, Phil, Gillon, Karen, Godman, Trish, Gorrie, Donald, Grant, Rhoda, Gray, Iain, Harding, Mr Keith, Harper, Robin, Henry, Hugh, Home Robertson, Mr John, Hughes, Janis, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jamieson, Margaret, Jenkins, Ian, Lamont, Johann, Livingstone, Marilyn, Lyon, George, Macdonald, Lewis, MacDonald, Margo, MacKay, Angus, Maclean, Kate, Macmillan, Maureen, Martin, Paul, McAllion, Mr John, McAveety, Mr Frank, McCabe, Mr Tom, McIntosh, Mrs Lyndsay, McLeish, Henry, McMahon, Michael, McNeil, Mr Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Monteith, Mr Brian, Morrison, Mr Alasdair, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Munro, John Farquhar, Murray, Dr Elaine, Oldfather, Irene, Peacock, Peter, Peattie, Cathy, Radcliffe, Nora, Raffan, Mr Keith, Rumbles, Mr Mike, Simpson, Dr Richard, Smith, Elaine, Smith, Iain, Smith, Mrs Margaret, Stone, Mr Jamie, Thomson, Elaine, Wallace, Mr Jim, Whitefield, Karen, Wilson, Allan
Against: Adam, Brian, Campbell, Colin, Canavan, Dennis, Crawford, Bruce, Cunningham, Roseanna, Fabiani, Linda, Gibson, Mr Kenneth, Grahame, Christine, Hyslop, Fiona, Lochhead, Richard, MacAskill, Mr Kenny, Matheson, Michael, McGugan, Irene, McLeod, Fiona, Mundell, David, Neil, Alex, Paterson, Mr Gil, Robison, Shona, Sheridan, Tommy, Stevenson, Stewart, Swinney, Mr John, Tosh, Mr Murray, Ullrich, Kay, Welsh, Mr Andrew, White, Ms Sandra