Covid-19 Update

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 3rd March 2020.

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Photo of Jeane Freeman Jeane Freeman Scottish National Party

Ms Maguire has raised an important question. We are working with the UK Government on the emergency legislation. Its relevant officials are co-operating with ours, and the same is the case for Wales and Northern Ireland.

Because it is emergency legislation and because we need to have the option of the additional powers relatively soon, we have taken the view that, even if we might have some of those powers already, we will simply bring the legislative consent motion to this Parliament, in order to take the additional powers.

The key then will be each of the four Governments taking decisions about when and how to use any one of the additional powers. We do not currently have some of the emergency powers although, arguably, we do have some of them. However, emergency powers will ease things for us. The same applies in Northern Ireland, Wales and England.

That is the approach that we are taking. The key issue with the emergency powers is, as much as having them, how and when we take decisions to use them. It will, of course, be for the Parliament to debate and decide on the LCM.