“it is our MOD. Our Scottish taxpayers’ money helps to fund the MOD”.—[
, 20 April 2023; c 25.]
That implies that there would be no cost if the Ministry of Defence helped with the Corran ferry. [
For the purpose of clarification, I point out that the MOD is charged to defend the United Kingdom and has a budget for that.
However, the request for assistance with the Corran ferry has been made through a military aid to the civil authorities request. My understanding is that MACA assists civil authorities and it is up to the military to ascertain whether the assets are available and fit for deployment. It is normally up to the civil authorities to cover the costs of such deployments, in line with HM Treasury rules, although the MOD may, of course, defer costs. It is therefore unclear in this case whether the costs will be met by the Scottish Government or Highland Council.
Presiding Officer, I raise this point of order because I believe that the First Minister may have inadvertently misled the Parliament. [
.] If members do not like to hear the point of order—
Mr Mountain, please resume your seat for a second. I say to members that a member has the floor. That member has the right to speak, and the other people in the chamber do not speak when somebody else has the floor. Mr Mountain, please continue.
Thank you, Presiding Officer. I raise the point of order with you as the First Minister may have inadvertently misled the Parliament, implying that no payment would be required if the MOD were deployed. I would therefore be grateful if you could set out how the First Minister may correct the record if that is the case.
I thank Mr Mountain for his contribution. I advise that that is not a point of order. It is not a matter for the chair. I believe that the process for correction of the record is well known to members across the chamber. Thank you.
On a point of order, Deputy Presiding Officer. During the ministerial statement today, the minister Lorna Slater suggested that she applied to the UK Government for an exemption in 2021 and that the delay to the deposit return scheme is because of that. I can inform the Parliament that I have checked that. Ministers only received that formal request for a UK internal market act exclusion for the Scottish Government deposit return scheme on 6 March 2023. Since then, the Scottish Government has been reviewing and it has now paused the scheme, so it has not been possible for the UK Government to fully assess the impacts of the exclusion request on cross-UK trade, business and consumers.
I seek your advice, Deputy Presiding Officer, because surely that is misleading Parliament. We all know that it was done on 6 March 2023 and not in 2021. I would ask if the minister could come in and correct the record, please.
I thank Mr Whittle for his contribution. That is also not a point of order. It is not a matter for the chair. I presume that the mechanism by which the record can be corrected is also well known to Mr Whittle.
There will be a short pause before we move on to the final item of business.
Members’ business will be published tomorrow, 21 April 2023, as soon as the text is available.