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Referendums (Scotland) Bill

– in the Scottish Parliament on 14th November 2019.

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Photo of Bill Bowman Bill Bowman Conservative

3. To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the progress of the Referendums (Scotland) Bill. (S5O-03755)

Photo of Michael Russell Michael Russell Scottish National Party

I am pleased to say that the Referendums (Scotland) Bill was backed by members following the stage 1 debate last week and will now continue to stage 2.

Photo of Bill Bowman Bill Bowman Conservative

I thank the cabinet secretary for that very to-the-point response.

In September, the Scottish National Party Government announced plans for 13 bills, but now those have been moved aside in favour of one that was not announced—the indyref 2 bill—which the SNP Government is trying to push through before the end of this year. When did the SNP decide that legislation on animal welfare, rural support, hate crime and warm homes is less important than its indyref 2 obsession?

Photo of Michael Russell Michael Russell Scottish National Party

I can only presume that the member is misinformed, because I am quite sure that he would not wish to say to Parliamentr something that is not true. The legislative programme remains as it was announced in the programme for government. That is, and will continue to be, the situation. The pressure on the legislative programme does not come from decisions of the Scottish Government on additional bills; it comes from the utter chaos at Westminster. I believe that I am right in saying that not a single bill has been brought forward at Westminster for matters other than Brexit in the past six months; there might have been one or two minor aspects of legislation on such matters. Westminster is in utter chaos with Brexit.

The right thing for Mr Bowman to do would be to reflect on the complete failure of the Tories in government in the United Kingdom. It is not time to cast aspersions on the Scottish Government, which is delivering its legislative programme precisely as it promised to do.