Louise Wylie outlines the events coming up in Holyrood.
Westminster parties unlikely to hold vote of no confidence
Opposition parties are continuing to attempt to block Boris Johnson from leaving the EU without a deal. The Labour, Greens, Lib Dem, and Independent Group for Change leaders, and Westminster leaders of the SNP and Plaid Cymru, have met in Westminster to discuss plans to prevent a no-deal Brexit. The SNP has suggested it would back Jeremy Corbyn as interim Prime Minister and are pushing for a no-confidence vote in Boris Johnson — other opposition leaders have said this is unlikely to happen this week. The Liberal Democrats appear to have ruled out supporting a caretaker Jeremy Corbyn, while Plaid Cymru has called for an impeachment of the Prime Minister.
Public Audit Committee debate to be held on dog control
The Public Audit & Post-Legislative Committee will lead a debate on Tuesday on the Control of Dogs legislation. The Committee has argued that current legislation on dog control is not “fit for purchase” and requires reviewing. It has previously heard evidence on the thousands of dog-related injuries each year, including evidence from parents and victims of dog attacks. Ash Denham has launched a consultation on how the Control of Dogs Act 2010 can be improved and on wider dog control legislation.
Derek Mackay to give evidence on preparation for leaving EU without a deal
Derek Mackay will give evidence on the Government’s preparations for a no-deal Brexit on Scotland to the Economy, Energy & Fair Work Committee on Tuesday. The Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy & Fair Work will also give evidence on Wednesday to the Finance & Constitution Committee on the Government’s Fiscal Framework Report.
Labour to hold two debates on education and transport
Labour will hold two debates on Wednesday, the first on nursery funding after deferred school entry and the second to urge the Government not to extend ScotRail’s contract beyond 2022. In the education debate, Labour will lead calls for equal nursery funding across local authorities for children whose parents decide to defer school entry. In the transport debate, Labour will argue ScotRail has not improved services enough in response to passenger complaints of cancellations, overcrowding and delays. The Government can end the franchise with the operator three years early if it does not deliver on its commitments. In March, Nicola Sturgeon said ScotRail was in its “last chance saloon” and that changes had to made to ensure the contract was renewed.
Children (Equal Protection from Assault) reaches Stage 3
MSPs will vote on the Children (Equal Protection from Assault) Bill at Stage 3 on Thursday. SNP, Labour, Lib Dem and Green members are expected to support the legislation, with the Conservatives opposing. The Members Bill — proposed by John Finnie — would abolish the defence of reasonable chastisement and offer children the same protection from assault as adults. Supporters of the Bill say it brings Scottish legislation in line with international best practice and the European Convention of the Rights of the Child. The Conservatives have previously claimed the removal of the defence risks criminalising parents for disciplining their children.