Louise Wylie has the latest on Brexit developments as Holyrood returns from recess.
Westminster votes on a potential early general election
MPs are set to vote on Boris Johnson’s planned early general election this evening. The Prime Minister wants to hold a general election on 12 December but a two-thirds majority in the Commons is required to make that happen. He has previously lost two votes in Parliament on this, although reports suggest support for a general election may haveincreased among opposition parties as a Brexit extension was agreed by the EU, meaning the UK cannot crash out during the election campaign. The SNP and Liberal Democrats have announced their support for an election on 9 December, and the UK Government has suggested if its motion does not pass today, it will back this move. Labour has ruled out supporting a vote until a no-deal Brexit is no longer possible. Reports suggest that Labour MPs do not believe the latest extension has completely removed a no-deal scenario off the table. Jeremy Corbyn had previously said the Labour Party would vote for an election once an extension had been agreed.
Statement expected on fireworks regulations and misuse
On Tuesday, Ash Denham will make a statement on the Scottish Government’s plans to tackle the misuse of fireworks. The Scottish Government published responses to a consultation at the start of this month, which demonstrated widespread support for tighter regulations on the use and sale of fireworks. Legislation on the sale of fireworks is a reserved matter but the Scottish Parliament has the power to toughen regulations. Incidents involving attacks on emergency service workers and animal abuse connected to bonfire night have gained attention from the public in recent years.
Consumer Scotland Bill evidence to be presented to the Economy, Energy & Fair Work Committee
The Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee will hear evidence on the Consumer Scotland Bill on Tuesday, which if passed, would establish a new consumer rights body. Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) and Advice Bureaus will give evidence, with the role of CAS under the proposed system still under debate. Concerns have been raised previously about a lack of enforcement powers for the new body and how it would fit in the existing consumer landscape. Some advocacy groups have also argued the Bill should be expanded to provide protection for independent traders and small businesses.
MSPs hold a debate on disability assistance
MSPs will hold a debate on welfare payments for disabled people on Tuesday. Social security powers are in the process of being devolved to the Scottish Government, which has committed to a person-centred system. Ministers have criticised the DWP’s benefits approach and supported the introduction of new benefits and expanded eligibility. However, there have been concerns regarding the timescale of the transfer, which will not be completed before 2024, and the finances required for higher benefit uptake. On Thursday, the Social Security Committee will take evidence from Shirley-Anne Somerville and Social Security Scotland on the performance of the welfare system.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Annual Target Report is published and
The annual emissions target report will be published this week following the passing of the Climate Change Bill last month, which set a net-zero carbon emissions target for 2045. In June, it was announced that the Scottish Government had officially missed its 2017 target for reducing emissions. Scotland has reduced emissions by 39.1% since 1990, with an interim target of a 75% reduction by 2030. A Ministerial Statement on the figures will be made to Holyrood in the afternoon.