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

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 9:59 am on 6th March 2018.

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Photo of Ian Murray Ian Murray Labour, Edinburgh South 9:59 am, 6th March 2018

As always, it is a great pleasure to serve with you in the Chair, Mr Hollobone. I do not want to echo all the remarks made by Douglas Ross, whom I congratulate, along with my hon. Friend Martin Whitfield, on initiating the debate.

We are having this debate at a crucial point in the life cycle of the British Transport police and this issue, and I am delighted that it has been brought forward.

Let me say at the outset that all five parties that sat around the Smith commission table agreed that the Scottish section of the British Transport police should be devolved. No one suggests that it should not be; the questions are how it will be devolved to the Scottish Parliament, how it will subsequently be operated, and what that will achieve not only in Scotland but across the United Kingdom. Those are significant issues for everyone involved.

The issue really is safety. We know that the merger is driven by ideology—everything is driven by ideology for the Scottish National party—but safety is the issue.