Scrutiny of UK Scotland Bill back on Holyrood agenda

02.09.2015

Scrutiny of the UK Government’s Scotland Bill is back on Holyrood’s agenda as the Devolution (Further Powers) Committee prepares to hear from experts on a range of issues covered by the Bill.

The Scotland Bill completed Committee Stage in the House of Commons, in July and is expected to resume its parliamentary progress before going to the House of Lords.   

On Thursday the Committee will hear from two panels of experts, the first covering the areas of the permanency of the Scottish Parliament, Sewel Motions and equalities and the second on welfare issues.  In its other planned meetings this month, the Committee will hear from both domestic and international experts on inter-governmental relations.     

Committee Convener Bruce Crawford said: 

“Since we published our interim report on the draft legislative clauses of the Scotland Bill in May, we have pressed the UK Government to amend the legislation to fully implement the Smith Commission proposals.

“It is essential that the Bill provides the workable legislative framework that transfers the powers to Holyrood that Scotland’s main political parties signed up to.  That is why our scrutiny of the Bill is so important, and the range of witnesses we will hear from in the next three weeks will provide us with expert insight in to key elements of the Bill. 

“Time is running out to ensure Westminster passes a Scotland Bill that delivers what the Smith Commission agreed was necessary and appropriate.”      

Background 

On Thursday 3 September the Committee will hear from two panels of witnesses.  The first panel on constitutional and equalities issues consists of: Michael Clancy, Law Society of Scotland;  Professor Neil Walker, Department of Constitutional and Administrative Law, Edinburgh University;  Talat Yaqoob, Chair, Women 50:50;  Emma Ritch, Executive Director, Engender Scotland. 

The second panel will consider welfare issues and consists of:  John Dickie, Director, Child Poverty Action Group (Scotland);  Nile Istephan, Vice Chair, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations;  Bill Scott, Director of Policy, Inclusion Scotland;  Rachel Stewart, Public Affairs Officer, Scottish Association for Mental Health. 

At its meetings on 10 and 17 September the Committee will hear from experts on a range of issues including inter-governmental relations.  Details of the Committee’s work, including written submissions from witnesses, and the Committee’s interim report on the draft legislative clauses can be found at:  

Devolution (Further Powers) Committee

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