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UEFA European Championship (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 5th November 2019.

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Photo of Ben Macpherson Ben Macpherson Scottish National Party

We will consider those points as we go into stage 2. There are practical considerations around police officers on the ground and the allocation of resources. Nonetheless, because of the accountability points that have been raised, we will continue to consider the issue. We look forward to engagement on that as we progress, Parliament permitting, towards stage 2.

With regard to ticket touting, I take Mike Rumbles’s point on section 2(4) of the bill, which we will consider ahead of stage 2. We need to be absolutely clear that we do not create a loophole that could be exploited by ticket touts; we will analyse that.

I thank members for the points that they raised about advertising. Miles Briggs raised an important point on exemptions in relation to transport. The draft regulations, which we have already provided, mean that advertisements on, or in, moving vehicles—such as buses, vans or trucks—will be exempt. However, as one would expect, there will not be an exemption for vehicles—such as mobile advertising boards—that are used primarily to display adverts. I hope that that clears up that point for Miles Briggs, but if it does not, he should feel free to get in touch.

There has been wide discussion around a framework bill. As I said, we will undertake to formally review this legislation—should it pass, and should we be successful in delivering the tournament. As a Parliament, we all have an ambition to create an environment in which, if it is possible within devolved powers, we will continue to tackle ticket touting and have a more strategic, rather than a piecemeal, approach. I look forward to engaging on those points and on how we think about the success of the legislation—Parliament permitting—in the future.

In closing, I thank members of the committee, and of the Parliament as a whole, for their contributions. Reasonable concerns have been raised, which will be considered. I underline that I am very happy to meet individual members on a one-to-one basis, if they wish to discuss any matters in further detail. In addition, to demonstrate that I am open to further conversations, I commit, as Ross Greer requested, to engage early.

As we go into stage 2, there will undoubtedly be areas on which we disagree. Nonetheless, I am certain that we can reach consensus on many of the issues that are raised and produce a piece of legislation that will not only be fit for purpose but will allow us, once again, to deliver a gold-standard major event here in Scotland.