Decision Time

– in the Scottish Parliament on 23rd September 2020.

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The Presiding Officer:

The next item of business is decision time. I remind members that if the amendment in the name of John Swinney is agreed to, the amendment in the name of Iain Gray will fall.

The first question is, that amendment S5M-22780.3, in the name of John Swinney, which seeks to amend motion S5M-22780, in the name of Jamie Greene, on prioritising education over independence, be agreed to. Are we agreed?

There will be a division. We will use remote voting to allow members who are joining us from their constituencies to vote. I will suspend Parliament for a few minutes to allow all members to log on to the system.

17:54 Meeting suspended.

18:00 On resuming—

Thank you colleagues. We will move to the division on amendment S5M-22780.3. Members should cast their votes now. This is a one-minute division.

Any member who thinks that their vote was not recorded should raise their hand to get an official to help them, or make a point of order, once voting has closed.

Voting has closed. I believe that a couple of members struggled to vote.

Photo of Michael Matheson Michael Matheson Scottish National Party

The voting app did not open on my account, and I would have voted in favour of John Swinney’s amendment.

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you. I will make sure that your vote is added to the record before we announce the result.

Photo of Gillian Martin Gillian Martin Scottish National Party

I was not able to vote, and would have voted in favour of John Swinney’s amendment.

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you. I will make sure that your vote is also added before we announce the result.

No other member wishes to raise a point of order.

Division number 1 Decision Time

Aye: 65 MSPs

No: 55 MSPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Nos: A-Z by last name

The Presiding Officer:

The result of the division is: For 65, No 55, Abstentions 0.

Amendment agreed to.

The amendment in the name of Iain Gray is pre-empted. The next question is, that motion S5M-22780, in the name of Jamie Greene, on prioritising independence over education, as amended, be agreed to. Are we agreed?

There will be a division. Again, this will be a one-minute division. If any member has a difficulty, they should raise their hand to get an official to help them, or make a point of order, if they are online.

Voting has closed. If any members were not able to register their vote, they should raise a point of order.

Photo of Gillian Martin Gillian Martin Scottish National Party

I was not able to vote; I would have voted in favour of the amended motion.

The Presiding Officer:

That is noted as a vote in favour of the amended motion. That will be added to the vote before it is announced.

Photo of John Scott John Scott Conservative

On a point of order, Presiding Officer.

I want to make certain that the vote was correct, and that I did, indeed, vote against the amendment. Has my vote been cast?

The Presiding Officer:

There should be a message on your screen to say that you have voted.

Photo of John Scott John Scott Conservative

I believe so, but it said it was for motion S5M-22780, and I am not certain that that is—

The Presiding Officer:

It is the motion as amended by Mr Swinney.

Photo of John Scott John Scott Conservative

It did not say, “as amended”.

The Presiding Officer:

The vote was on the motion as amended by Mr Swinney; I read it out.

Mr Scott’s point is noted.

Photo of Maurice Corry Maurice Corry Conservative

On a point of order, Presiding Officer.

I have exactly the same situation as John Scott.

The Presiding Officer:

I want to clarify whether Maurice Corry thinks that he has voted, but in favour of the amended motion, when he meant to vote against the amended motion.

Photo of Maurice Corry Maurice Corry Conservative

That is correct; the same as John Scott—[Interruption.]

The Presiding Officer:

Can we have some order, please, so that I can hear Mr Corry?

Mr Corry, the key thing that I need to consider is whether you have used your vote and whether it was registered.

Photo of Maurice Corry Maurice Corry Conservative

I used my vote, Presiding Officer, but it seems to be confused—

The Presiding Officer:

I accept the point, Mr Corry. You have clarified it.

Points of order are not for changing how people vote. [Laughter.] That is an important point. They are simply to make sure that members have voted.

I understand; this is a new system, and members are becoming familiar with it. [Interruption.] Can I have some order at the back of the chamber, please?

I want to be clear. The point of order system is to make sure that members exercise their votes. I cannot change a member’s vote if they voted one way but meant to vote another. However, Maurice Corry’s point is noted, and that will be recorded.

Division number 2 Decision Time

Aye: 64 MSPs

No: 35 MSPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Nos: A-Z by last name

Abstained: 21 MSPs

Abstaineds: A-Z by last name

The Presiding Officer:

The result of the division is: For 64, Against 35, Abstentions 21.

Motion, as amended, agreed to,

That the Scottish Parliament supports work to close the attainment gap; confirms that closing the attainment gap and raising standards for all must remain the top priority for the education system; recognises that the attainment gap is caused by the underlying poverty and inequality in society, which are exacerbated by the policy choices of the Conservative administration at Westminster; further recognises that the impact of COVID-19 has disrupted teaching and learning and risks exacerbating the attainment gap and considers therefore that the Scottish Government, local authorities and all education agencies must do everything practicable to support early learning and childcare, schools, colleges and universities through the pandemic; commends the hard work and dedication of teachers, staff and pupils in adapting to the impact of coronavirus, and believes that in education, and across a broad range of powers of the Scottish Parliament, the UK Government is using the EU exit to enact a power grab against the people of Scotland, demonstrating beyond all doubt that decisions about Scotland should be taken by the people who live here and not by a Conservative administration at Westminster led by Boris Johnson, which has been comprehensively rejected by the people of Scotland.

The next question is, that motion S5M-22805, in the name of Graeme Dey, on approval of an SSI, be agreed to.

Motion agreed to,

That the Parliament agrees that the Rent Arrears Pre-Action Requirements (Coronavirus) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 [draft] be approved.

The next question is, that motion S5M-22800, in the name of Graeme Dey, on approval of an SSI—the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Directions by Local Authorities) (Scotland) Regulations 2020—be agreed to. Are we agreed?

There will be a division.

Photo of Andy Wightman Andy Wightman Green

Presiding Officer, I think that you said that we were voting on motion S5M-22803 but then said that we were voting on health protection regulations. Did I mishear?

The Presiding Officer:

I said that the question is on motion S5M-22800, on the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Directions by Local Authorities) (Scotland) Regulations 2020—the motion against which Mr Rumbles spoke.

Now that the vote has closed, does any member in the chamber or online think that their vote was not recorded and want to make a point of order?

Photo of Gillian Martin Gillian Martin Scottish National Party

Presiding Officer, my vote was not recorded. I would have voted in favour of the motion.

Photo of Margaret Mitchell Margaret Mitchell Conservative

No vote was recorded on my screen. I would have voted yes.

Photo of Clare Haughey Clare Haughey Scottish National Party

I could not connect to the voting platform. I would have voted in favour of the motion.

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you. Your votes will be added to the roll. [Interruption.] Patience, members; it is important that we all get the chance to exercise our vote.

I am sorry—I think that we are still having difficulty with members who are voting online.

Photo of Maurice Corry Maurice Corry Conservative

I would have voted yes, but I could not get on to the platform.

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you, Mr Corry.

Murdo Fraser, am I right in thinking that you were not able to vote? No, I see that you have voted.

Clare Adamson, I understand that you want to make a point of order, but I can tell you that your vote has been recorded.

Division number 3 Decision Time

Aye: 114 MSPs

No: 1 MSP

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Nos: A-Z by last name

The Presiding Officer:

The result of the division is: For 114, Against 1, Abstentions 0.

Motion agreed to,

That the Parliament agrees that the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Directions by Local Authorities) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 (SSI 2020/262) be approved.

The next question is, that motion S5M-22803, in the name of Graeme Dey, on approval of a Scottish statutory instrument—the International Organisations (Immunities and Privileges) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2020—be agreed to. Are we agreed?

There will be a division.

That vote is now closed, but I will ask a few members about their vote as there have clearly been technical problems again. We will follow up later on the technical problems with each member concerned. First, I invite Gillian Martin to comment.

Photo of Gillian Martin Gillian Martin Scottish National Party

My vote was not recorded, but it would have been yes.

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you. That will be added to the votes. Next is Maurice Corry.

Photo of Maurice Corry Maurice Corry Conservative

My vote was not recorded, but it would have been yes.

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you. That will also be added to the roll. Next is Clare Haughey.

Photo of Clare Haughey Clare Haughey Scottish National Party

My vote was not recorded because I could not get on to the platform, but I would have voted yes.

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you. We will follow up on those problems with all three members.

The Presiding Officer:

One second, Mr Neil. Ruth Davidson has a point of order.

Photo of Ruth Davidson Ruth Davidson Conservative

My vote was not recorded, but I would have voted yes.

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you. Mr Neil has a point of order.

Photo of Alex Neil Alex Neil Scottish National Party

The system would not let me on the platform for this vote, but I would have voted yes.

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you. That is also added for the record. Clare Adamson has a point of order.

Photo of Clare Adamson Clare Adamson Scottish National Party

I had multiple issues and was thrown out of the system. I had a message that I had not seen before, between casting my vote and the system coming back to say that there was no vote currently open, which said “connecting”. I therefore have no idea whether my vote was cast, but I would have voted yes.

The Presiding Officer:

Thank you. That will also be added to the roll.

Division number 4 Decision Time

Aye: 108 MSPs

No: 6 MSPs

Ayes: A-Z by last name

Nos: A-Z by last name

The Presiding Officer:

I thank colleagues for their patience. Clearly, a number of members are having technical difficulties this evening, but we will look into each individual case.

The result of the division is: For 108, Against 6, Abstentions 0.

Motion agreed to,

That the Parliament agrees that the Rent Arrears Pre-Action Requirements (Coronavirus) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 [draft] be approved.

I propose to ask a single question on the five Parliamentary Bureau motions, unless any member objects. No member objects.

The question is, that motions S5M-22798, S5M-22799, S5M-22801, S5M-22802 and S5M-22804, in the name of Graeme Dey, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Motions agreed to,

That the Parliament agrees that the Coronavirus (Scotland) Acts (Amendment of Expiry Dates) Regulations 2020 [draft] be approved.

That the Parliament agrees that the Equality Act 2010 (Specification of Public Authorities) (Scotland) Order 2020 [draft] be approved.

That the Parliament agrees that the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (International Travel) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 11) Regulations 2020 (SSI 2020/263) be approved.

That the Parliament agrees that the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (International Travel) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 12) Regulations 2020 (SSI 2020/271) be approved.

That the Parliament agrees that the Management of Offenders (Scotland) Act 2019 (Consequential Amendments) Regulations 2020 [draft] be approved.

18:20 Members’ Business will be published tomorrow, 24 September 2020, as soon as the text is available.