British Transport Police/ Police Scotland Merger — [Mr Philip Hollobone in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:32 am on 6th March 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Douglas Ross Douglas Ross Conservative, Moray 9:32 am, 6th March 2018

I am unsure whether I have given way two, three or four times to the hon. Gentleman, yet he has still not mentioned his own party’s plans, which we are debating today—the SNP plans to merge the British Transport police in Scotland into Police Scotland. He only wants to ask about the Conservative plans; perhaps he should propose a debate on them to the Backbench Business Committee. I would gladly join him in Westminster Hall to debate those proposals, but today we are debating his party’s plans—dangerous plans for merging British Transport police into Police Scotland. We should focus our remarks on how damaging those plans are to police officers in Scotland, rail users in Scotland and indeed the operators.

The lack of a financial case has been highlighted a number of times. When I was on the Justice Committee, we concluded that the supporting financial memorandum did not provide enough detail on the expected cost of integration or on who should pay. We said at the time that that was unacceptable, and again the Scottish Government did not respond with the information required.

Another huge issue for the federation and officers was terms and conditions: the so-called triple lock that was promised by Michael Matheson as Justice Secretary and Humza Yousaf as Transport Secretary. There is a real vacuum on information available to our officers, who potentially were just 13 months from the merger—from leaving the force that they joined and were proud to serve in, to be merged into Police Scotland—yet still had no concrete detail on pay and conditions and on terms and conditions. Again, they have rightly felt let down by the Scottish Government in their negotiations.