Scottish Devolution and Article 50

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 5:05 pm on 15th March 2017.

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Photo of Kirsty Blackman Kirsty Blackman Shadow SNP Spokesperson (House of Lords) 5:05 pm, 15th March 2017

It is a pleasure to serve under your chairmanship, Mr Gray, and take part in this debate, which was ably introduced by my hon. Friend Deidre Brock. She laid out the position very well. The tone of the debate has been very good; I hope the Minister will continue in the same vein.

Let me mention a few issues that my hon. Friends and Ian Murray raised. One of the main reasons for the situation we are in—and why we are having these debates—is the huge uncertainty we face. As my hon. Friend Patrick Grady said, there has been no clarity from the UK Government about how the processes or the timescales will work. Will there be a fresh Scotland Bill or just amendments to the Scotland Act 1998? Exactly how will the processes work? As for the timeline, we do not want to fall into a legislative trap or get stuck in legislative limbo. I am sure that the UK Government have plans, but it would be nice if they told us what they were, so that we could be aware of the timescales. If we are going to try to work together in a future settlement, it would be best if we got off on a good footing, with as much information as possible.

My hon. Friend the Member for Glasgow North and I have discussed the great repeal Bill at length; no doubt we will continue to discuss it in the coming months, because we are particularly interested in the process. The great repeal Bill has the potential to become a great power grab for the UK Government, giving them a lot of powers that they do not currently have. I do not imagine that that is what most people who supported the leave campaign had in mind. [Interruption.]