– in the Scottish Parliament on 23rd January 2019.
3. To ask the Scottish Government what the Lord Advocate’s position is on its competency to authorise another referendum on Scottish independence without another section 30 order. (S5O-02801)
By long-standing convention, the content of any legal advice received by the Government is confidential.
What a poor response that was. In the spirit of openness and transparency, which the Parliament prides itself on, does the minister agree that, just as the Scottish ministers demanded that the United Kingdom Government publish its legal advice on Brexit and it was published, the Lord Advocate’s advice on an independence referendum should be published by the Scottish ministers? I see that the Lord Advocate is present in the chamber. It would have been helpful if he had given us the benefit of his advice.
Presiding Officer, in the spirit of your oft-repeated plea that ministers and members should avoid extending such exchanges unnecessarily, I refer the member to my previous answer. However, in so doing, I point out that the convention that I referred to is so long standing that it goes all the way back to when the Lib Dems were part of the then coalition Executive. Of course, that was quite some time ago, which is perhaps why the existence of the convention has slipped from Mr Rumbles’s memory.
Is it the Scottish Government’s view that the Parliament could lawfully pass legislation authorising an independence referendum without a section 30 order—yes or no?