Hamish Morrison has the latest on what to expect in Holyrood this week.
Prorogation Judgement expected on Tuesday
On Tuesday morning, the Supreme Court will give its ruling on the legality of Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament. Speaking on the Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, Dominic Raab said the Government would “respect whatever the legal ruling” the Court delivered. Last week, the Supreme Court heard both Gina Miller’s appeal of the English High Court’s decision to dismiss her challenge to prorogation and the Government’s appeal of the Edinburgh Court of Session’s judgement that the Prime Minister had suspended Parliament unlawfully. The decision will be delivered at around 10:30am on Tuesday.
Climate Change Bill Goes to Stage 3
MSPs will debate the Climate Change Bill at Stage 3 on Wednesday after its introduction in May last year. The Bill sets a target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2045, with a 70% reduction by 2030. Opposition MSPs have called for the Bill to go further, with the Greens looking for an 80% reduction in the next decade, and Labour and the Liberal Democrats calling for a 75% reduction in the same period. Last Friday, tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered in Holyrood Park as part of the global climate strike. Head of Oxfam Scotland, Jamie Livingstone, called on the Government to increase the amount set aside for the Climate Justice Fund for developing countries. Several members have lodged amendments to the Bill, including Mark Ruskell’s proposals for a citizen’s assembly on climate change and marine carbon storage.
Common UK Frameworks discussed during Finance & Constitution debate
Parliament will debate the Finance & Constitution Committee’s report on the establishment of common UK frameworks after Brexit on Tuesday. In a report published in March, the Committee called for the creation of common UK frameworks “through agreement” which were not “imposed” by the UK Government. The Interparliamentary Forum, composed of representatives from the devolved administrations, the Commons and the Lords, wrote to Michael Gove last week calling for “greater urgency” on the Joint Ministerial Committee’s review of intergovernmental relations, which the Committee deemed “not fit for purpose”. The four parliaments of the UK will need to agree on common frameworks to avoid large discrepancies in the law following the transferal of powers from the EU to the UK and its parliaments.
Health & Sport Committee continues primary healthcare inquiry
The Health & Sport Committee will take evidence from health organisations, including the Royal College of Emergency Medicine Scotland, the British Diabetic Association and the Queen’s Nursing Institute Scotland on the future of primary care. The Committee’s public consultation on the question “what should primary care look like for the next generation” found broad support for changes to primary care and concluded the public “do not regard the status quo as an option.”
Scottish National Investment Bank debated at Stage 1
Rounding off the week, MSPs will debate the Scottish National Investment Bank Bill for the first time on Thursday. The Bank, which the First Minister pledged in the 2017 Programme for Government, would commit £2bn for investment in Scottish businesses over 10 years. Following the Bill’s publication, Derek Mackay described it as a future “cornerstone in Scotland’s economic architecture”. The Economy, Energy & Fair Work Committee approved the Bill during the summer, but recommended MSPs set the Bank’s long-term agenda. Nicola Sturgeon, speaking at the first Holyrood session after summer recess, promised the Bank would support green industries and climate change solutions.
Best of the rest:
- The Finance & Constitution Committee will hear evidence on Wednesday from Mike Russell and Scottish Government officials on the Referendum (Scotland) Bill, which would allow for Parliament to legislate for second independence referendum.
- On Tuesday, Colin Smyth will lead a Members’ Business debate to mark Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Week.
- Following the Whirlpool tumble dryer recall, which found 65,000 unsafe products, John Mason will call for the Government to create a product recall database for consumers in a Members’ Business debate on Wednesday.
- Rachael Hamilton has called for people with motor neuron disease to receive disabled parking permits in a Members’ Business debate on Thursday.