Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Meetings)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 30th September 2021.

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Photo of Jim Fairlie Jim Fairlie Scottish National Party

7. To ask the Scottish Government whether it has met or has any plans to meet the recently appointed Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to discuss constitutional issues in relation to Scotland. (S6O-00223)

Photo of Angus Robertson Angus Robertson Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government is committed to constructive engagement with the United Kingdom Government on the basis of a partnership of equals and is making clear to UK ministers, including the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, that, following the Scottish election, it has an unarguable democratic mandate to offer the people of Scotland a choice about their constitutional future.

I met and shared a platform with the outgoing

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster at the recent British-Irish Association meeting in Oxford, and I hope to meet his successor soon.

Photo of Jim Fairlie Jim Fairlie Scottish National Party

Does the cabinet secretary agree that, in the light of this week’s article in

The Times

, we should encourage the Tories—despite instruction from their leadership—to continue to talk about the union and help the case for independence even further?

Photo of Angus Robertson Angus Robertson Scottish National Party

I think that that is an entirely positive suggestion. I look forward to hearing such arguments from Tory members.

From reading the article that my friend has highlighted, I think that the reasoning was that Tory members should not sound too “needy”—that was the advice that they were given.

On a more consensual note, I hope that, as democrats, we can all agree that, in the recent Scottish Parliament elections, the parties that stood on a manifesto commitment that the people should have a say on their future in a referendum won, and the parties that opposed a referendum lost. I hope that, as democrats, we can all agree that that was the outcome of the election. That is the mandate, and that is indeed what will happen.