Scottish Devolution and Article 50

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 4:45 pm on 15th March 2017.

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Photo of Patrick Grady Patrick Grady Shadow SNP Spokesperson (International Development) 4:45 pm, 15th March 2017

The principle that is very clear is that if something is not reserved to the UK Government, it is therefore devolved to the Scottish Parliament. I have not read the words “reservation of agriculture” in schedule 5 to the Scotland Act. Some of my hon. Friends might want to clarify or expand on the practicalities of that.

Let us take fisheries as an example, which was one of the potential Bills listed in The Times the other day. There are potential consequences for that. If the Government bring forward a fisheries Bill and have not clarified whether that is devolved or reserved, it seems to me that, under the English votes for English laws Standing Orders, it will fall to the Speaker of the House of Commons to decide whether or not that hugely profound, massive area of policy needs to be certified under the EVEL procedures. That could therefore deny a say to Members from Scotland on something that the Scottish Parliament equally has no power over, because we have been left in a legislative limbo. The Government have to start making clear exactly what their thoughts are on these issues.