Live Scotland Questions House of Commons


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Live Scotland Questions

Live coverage of questions in the House of Commons to the Scottish secretary David Mundell and his ministerial team.


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Order, order. Questions to the

Secretary of State for Scotland.

0:00:070:00:13

Tony Lloyd.

Number one, Mr Speaker.

Can I begin by paying tribute to

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Jimmy Hood, who died earlier this

week? Jimmy was formally my

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neighbouring MP and a constituent

and although we did not agree on

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much, we always got on well and I

remain grateful to Jimmy for his

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help and support when I was first

elected to this House. Jimmy would

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see himself as a traditional Labour

man through and through, a fighter

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for mining communities and a

parliamentarian of 28 years standing

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to help many important roles here.

Our thoughts are with Marion and his

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family at this time. I have regular

discussions with Cabinet colleagues,

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the UK Minister for digital and the

Scottish Government regarding the

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roll-out of superfast broadband.

Last week the UK Minister for

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digital met the Cabinet Secretary

for connectivity to discuss

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broadband roll-out and the delays we

have seen from the Scottish

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Government.

Mary joined the Scottish

Secretary in this tribute to Jimmy

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Hood? Jimmy was a friend of many of

us here and he was a bear of a man

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and our Parliament was better for

him, but on the issue of broadband,

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the Prime Minister told the House

the Government intended to work

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through Scottish local authorities.

Kansas Secretary of State say how he

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will work with those local

authorities to make sure broadband

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is delivered to homes and businesses

that are not properly conducted?

I

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thank him for that question. The

Minister for digital made it clear

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that his approach to local

authorities was based on the fact

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the Scottish Government, who had

responsibility for the roll-out,

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after three years behind in rolling

out broadband in Scotland, and

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that's not good enough for people

living in any of Scotland's local

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authorities. We believe those local

authorities will give greater

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priority and expertise to this task

than the Scottish Government.

With

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the Minister agree with me that the

borderlands initiative is a chance

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to ensure the digital connectivity

in that area is improved, which will

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enhance the economy of the border

area?

I agree, connectivity is at

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the heart of the proposal which the

five cross-border local authorities

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were brought forward for the

borderlands package. My honourable

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friend will be aware that in the

original intention to roll-out

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broadband in Scotland there was to a

focus on the South of Scotland but

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the SNP government in their

centralising weight put a stop to

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that.

I echo the Secretary of

State's comments about Jimmy Hood,

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who will be sadly missed by all of

us. Broadband is all of us who want

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to access banking. The ramp more

cash machines in this House then

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there are in a town in my

constituency.

I accept the point

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that the honourable gentleman makes

and it's not good enough for RBS to

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save people can't rely on internet

and mobile banking when many people

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in Scotland do not have access to

the internet for a fact of mobile

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services. I'm meeting the Royal Bank

tomorrow and I will convey across

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the House the concerns that this

programme of closures.

No apologies,

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Mr Speaker. In an area which is

reserved, an allegation of

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21,000,002 Scotland's are 100

programme, a figure less than Devon

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and Somerset received. Is he not

ashamed that he has let Scotland be

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so chronically underfunded?

It's not

even about the fun thing but about

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spending the money and taking the

action to roll out broadband. The

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read years ago -- three years ago

there was an allocation of funding

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and no action has been taken to

procure the roll-out.

Does the

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Secretary of State think that

Scottish Conservatives should stop

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embarrassing themselves? You have

the fast broadband in the whole of

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the UK but without that investment

only 41 promises in my constituency

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have access to it. In the Secretary

of State's constituency, it's 80%.

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Maybe the Scottish Conservatives

should avail themselves of that

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broadband and look up how not to

embarrass yourself?

If anybody is

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embarrassing themselves at the

Cabinet Secretary for connectivity,

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who said 35 tweets out to tell

people what a good job he was doing

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and the First Minister of Scotland,

who said to Mike Corley, the

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honourable member for Angus, a seven

week the red to tell her what a good

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job she was doing. Mr Speaker,

people often don't Scotland who

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don't receive adequate broadband

services know who was to blame, the

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Scottish Government.

Number two, Mr

Speaker.

The recent budget shows we

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are delivering for Scotland,

including £347 million in additional

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resource budget for Scotland, that

being part of 2 billion extra as

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part of Barnet consequentials.

Under

the Secretary of State for

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Scotland's watch, Scotland's budget

has been cut by 200 million pounds

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next year alone. He voted against

the services for police and fire

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crew so can he explain why he has

done nothing to prevent these Tory

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measures?

The day before the budget

that the hundred and £47 million of

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additional resource budget was not

there. It was announced in the

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budget along with another 1.7

billion in capital provided to

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Scotland to support business and

people.

I'm sure across this House

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members will appreciate the role of

oil and gas plays not just in the

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north-east but to the UK economy, so

does my honourable friend I agree

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with me that the transferable tax

Street set out in the budget is a

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shot in the arm for industry and a

step in the right direction to make

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Aberdeen I global economy and shows

the 30 Scottish Tory MPs get things

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done?

The oil and gas sector has

warmly welcomed the changes to

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provide additional tax relief in

terms of transparent taxation

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history, something many in the

sector believe will lead to tens of

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billions of additional investment

during the lifetime of the North Sea

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reserve.

I would like to associate

myself with the kind remarks the

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Secretary of State made to the late

Jimmy Hood, who was a fine champion

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of Labour values and the whole house

will offer condolences to his

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family. He claims Scotland has

received an additional £2 billion

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from the budget but the revenue

budget will be around £500 million

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lower in real terms for the next two

years, so who are people to believe?

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This redundant economic estate that

track Secretary of State or are

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well-known economic think tank?

By

2020, as the honourable member

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should know, the block grant to

Scotland will rise to 31.1 billion

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before devolutionary adjustment and

that is a real terms increase.

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Question number four, please.

With

permission I will answer questions

0:09:230:09:32

four and seven together. The

committee of EU negotiations

0:09:320:09:37

provides a valuable forum for a

devolved administrations to discuss

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EU exit. We took an important step

forward by agreeing principles to

0:09:420:09:47

govern the consideration of

frameworks, another meeting will be

0:09:470:09:51

held on Tuesday and I hope to see

significant progress then.

I

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welcomed the constructive approach

being taken to the Joint Ministerial

0:09:580:10:03

Committee on EU negotiations. Does

he agree it is a vital both sides

0:10:030:10:07

make real progress so as we leave

the EU we see a stronger Scottish

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parliament as part of a stronger UK?

I agree with my honourable friend, I

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look forward to the chance to

continue the progress we are making

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on our framework discussions, which

will lead to more powers for

0:10:250:10:30

Holyrood while maintaining the

integrity of the UK's internal

0:10:300:10:34

market.

As my right honourable

friend will know, fishing is an

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anthemic industry in Buchan but

there has been concern that the

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Scottish Government want to take

Scotland back into the CFB. Can he

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assure me that in all negotiations

he stands firm that we are taking

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Scotland's fishermen out of the CFB?

My honourable friend is seen as a

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champion for the fishing industry. I

can give them by guarantee, unlike

0:11:070:11:11

the SNP who would take us back into

the common fishing policy, this

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Government will take Scotland and

the rest of the UK out of the

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discredited policy.

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The Secretary of State in 2014 made

the argument that if Scotland left

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the United Kingdom, there would be a

barrier at Berwick because of

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leaving the single market. Why is it

any different because of the island

0:11:330:11:40

of Ireland? Isn't this Brexit

shambles just a threat to the United

0:11:400:11:43

Kingdom?

I've been absolutely clear

and remain absolutely clear that

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nothing will be done in any Brexit

deal that will threaten the

0:11:510:11:56

integrity deal -- integrity of the

UK, particularly Scotland's part in

0:11:560:12:00

it.

Scotland needs a competition and

cogent voice around the Cabinet

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table. If he is going to prove that

it's him, can he tell us what his

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red lines are that he has laid out

the Prime Minister in Scotland's

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interests?

I am quite clear that the

red line is the integrity of the UK,

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and keeping Scotland in the United

Kingdom, as people in Scotland voted

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for in 2014. We are leaving the EU

as a United Kingdom, and nothing the

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SNP do will stop that. The

industrial strategy is a conference

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of plan for boosting productivity,

to raise the earning power of people

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in businesses. We have been working

constructively with the Scottish

0:12:550:13:00

Government, who hold many of the

policy levers that will make

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industrial strategy a success in

Scotland. We have proposed a review

0:13:030:13:09

of interagency collaboration to

maximise the coherence and impact of

0:13:090:13:12

both governments' work in Scotland.

This UK wide industrialist strategy

0:13:120:13:19

is extremely welcome in my

constituency. Southampton Airport

0:13:190:13:22

connects to Edinburgh and Glasgow,

with the two busiest routes across

0:13:220:13:28

the UK connecting into a sleigh.

Does the Minister agree that

0:13:280:13:32

regional airports will increase

prosperity between Scotland and

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England? -- Eastleigh. I was

delighted to hear Edinburgh airport

0:13:370:13:47

had had its biggest year ever, so I

agree with my honourable friend that

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regional airports across the UK make

a vital contribution to economic

0:13:520:13:56

health. That is why we are

developing an aviation strategy

0:13:560:14:00

which will consider how best to

encourage and improve domestic

0:14:000:14:04

connectivity to the benefit of both

Scotland and the United Kingdom.

Can

0:14:040:14:10

eye on behalf of my Liberal Democrat

colleagues associate myself and

0:14:100:14:14

ourselves with the Secretary Mars

Mop's comments with regard to the

0:14:140:14:18

late Jimmy Hood. -- the Secretary's

comments. He was always capable of

0:14:180:14:26

humour and kindness and I am sure he

will be fondly remembered in this

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House and beyond. For the industrial

strategy, though, to reach all parts

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of the United Kingdom it should be

an opportunity for Scotland to

0:14:340:14:39

develop its potential in wave and

tidal power. That will require a

0:14:390:14:42

dedicated funding, so what is the

Secretary of State doing in

0:14:420:14:48

collaboration with his colleagues in

the department for business, to

0:14:480:14:52

ensure we get that dedicated funding

stream?

My colleagues in the

0:14:520:14:57

department for business are well

aware of the issues that the

0:14:570:15:02

honourable gentleman raises. They

are important to ensure that

0:15:020:15:09

development of tidal energy in

particular, and we will continue to

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look at what funding can be made

available for it.

Will the Secretary

0:15:140:15:21

of State ensure the Government

supports Scotland's efforts to be at

0:15:210:15:24

the front of the clean energy and

technology industries?

I absolutely

0:15:240:15:33

will do that, and she will be aware

that at the recent event in Germany

0:15:330:15:42

there were considerable efforts on

behalf of the whole of the United

0:15:420:15:48

Kingdom, Scottish Government working

with the UK Government, to deliver

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just that.

At last Scottish

questions, the Secretary of State

0:15:520:15:58

said he shared analysis with the

Scottish Government. This morning we

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discovered there is no impact

assessment, so can I ask what

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lessons were shared with the

Scottish Government?

Firstly, the

0:16:060:16:11

material that has been provided to

the committee has been provided to

0:16:110:16:18

the devolved administrations. And

previously, the position was and is

0:16:180:16:23

that officials between the UK

Government and Scottish Government

0:16:230:16:26

are working together on the basis of

analysis that they have both done.

0:16:260:16:36

With permission, I will answer

questions six, nine, 13 and 14

0:16:360:16:41

together. The UK Government is

working together with colleagues in

0:16:410:16:45

the devolved administrations to

carefully consider our approach to

0:16:450:16:48

power is returning from the EU. At

the last meeting of the JNC, -- the

0:16:480:16:55

Joint Ministerial Committee (EU

Negotiations), we agreed to a set of

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principles, and I am confident we

can take further steps are the

0:16:580:17:01

lowest -- next meeting on the 12th

of December.

Does the Secretary of

0:17:010:17:07

State agree with Tory colleagues who

describe Clause 11 is not fit for

0:17:070:17:10

purpose and much -- must be replaced

for a new version? If so, how do

0:17:100:17:15

they propose to amend it? --

replaced with.

I heard the speech by

0:17:150:17:22

my friend, the poll for East

Renfrewshire, during the debate, on

0:17:220:17:28

Monday, and the Government will of

course respond to the issues he has

0:17:280:17:31

raised.

The Secretary of State will

remember that was -- when the

0:17:310:17:39

Scottish Bill was in parliament, we

submitted 60 amendments each of

0:17:390:17:44

which he and his Government opposed,

and then they brought in through the

0:17:440:17:49

back door of the House of Lords.

Does the Government intend to use

0:17:490:17:54

the same undemocratic approach for

Clause 11?

I'm sure if the

0:17:540:18:01

honourable gentleman has concerns

about the procedures of the House of

0:18:010:18:03

Commons and did House of Lords, he

can raise them through the

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procedures committee, but in his

question, he acknowledges exactly

0:18:080:18:11

what happened. We had a debate, the

Government listened, the Government

0:18:110:18:17

responded. The Scotland Bill was

amended for the better.

FSP

0:18:170:18:25

Scotland, the Institute of

Directors, universities Scotland and

0:18:250:18:29

many other organisations have caused

for -- called for a differentiated

0:18:290:18:32

approach to immigration. Problems

like my constituents face have

0:18:320:18:41

criticised -- crystallised the

problem. Will he bring forward

0:18:410:18:43

amendments to Clause 11 to support

immigration and visa controls for

0:18:430:18:50

Scotland?

I don't support the

devolution of immigration to

0:18:500:18:54

Scotland. Three is a group -- three

years ago the Smith Commission

0:18:540:19:00

deliberated on what responsibilities

would be held in the Scottish

0:19:000:19:02

parliament and what would be held

here, and it was agreed by all

0:19:020:19:07

parties that immigration would be

retained by Westminster.

During the

0:19:070:19:16

course -- we heard Tory MPs say the

Clause 11 was not fit for purpose.

0:19:160:19:21

Isn't the reality is that -- but

they talk much, but they are not --

0:19:210:19:26

just lobby fodder for the

Government? We are happy -- we heard

0:19:260:19:33

all these things when the Scotland

Bill was going through the House of

0:19:330:19:38

Commons, but at the end of the

process Lord Smith said that it met

0:19:380:19:42

his committees requirements in full.

In this House in relation to the EU

0:19:420:19:47

withdrawal Bill, we will deliver a

Bill which will be able to generate

0:19:470:19:51

the consent of the Scottish and

Welsh governments.

Can I commend to

0:19:510:19:55

my right honourable friend the wrist

-- most recent report of the

0:19:550:20:02

Constitutional affairs committee

published last week, on the matter

0:20:020:20:05

of inter-institutional relations in

the UK. And could he accept that

0:20:050:20:10

there is a strong consensus that the

devolution arrangements were not

0:20:100:20:14

finished? That we need far stronger

institutional underpinning for the

0:20:140:20:19

relations between the four parts of

the UK, and that this is an

0:20:190:20:22

opportunity to achieve that.

Of

course I have seen my friend --

0:20:220:20:32

honourable friend's report, and the

Government considered to -- continue

0:20:320:20:37

to consider it. Of course I believe

intergovernmental and

0:20:370:20:42

inter-institutional relations can be

improved, and we need to move

0:20:420:20:45

forward on that.

It is welcome news

that there was good progress made at

0:20:450:20:51

the last meeting of the Joint

Ministerial Committee (EU

0:20:510:20:54

Negotiations), when principles

underpinning, frameworks were

0:20:540:20:56

agreed. Does he agree with me that

it is vital that Scotland's two

0:20:560:21:01

governments work together as we

leave the EU, so that common

0:21:010:21:04

frameworks needed to maintain the

internal market are maintained

0:21:040:21:08

whereas all remaining powers are

devolved?

I absolutely agree with my

0:21:080:21:13

honourable friend, and I very much

and happy to put it on record that I

0:21:130:21:20

welcome this constructive approach

the Scottish Government have pursued

0:21:200:21:23

in recent weeks in relation to these

matters.

First of all I would like

0:21:230:21:31

to thank the Secretary of State and

other honourable members for the

0:21:310:21:35

conserved -- condolences on behalf

of Jimmy Hood's family. On Monday

0:21:350:21:40

night the Scottish Tories were

herded through the lobbies and told

0:21:400:21:43

to trample all over the demolition

settlement. So can -- devolution

0:21:430:21:50

settlement. So can I ask, who issued

those instructions, the Prime

0:21:500:21:56

Minister, or Ruth Davidson and the

Secretary of State?

I know the

0:21:560:22:02

honourable lady doesn't like it, but

the Bill is going to be amended, it

0:22:020:22:05

is great to be amended not at the

behest of the incoherent approach

0:22:050:22:08

put forward by the Labour

opposition, or the nationalist

0:22:080:22:14

approach put forward by the SNP. It

is good to be amended because

0:22:140:22:19

Scottish Conservatives have come

forward with practical amendments to

0:22:190:22:23

the Bill.

I welcome that

clarification by the Secretary of

0:22:230:22:31

State, but the question really was

why could he not have brought those

0:22:310:22:35

amendments form of the other night?

Nonetheless, throughout the debate

0:22:350:22:40

on Monday, his Scottish colleagues

acknowledged that there were

0:22:400:22:44

deficiencies in the Bill, but they

were unable to name one. So, could

0:22:440:22:49

the Secretary of State now do what

they could not? What are the

0:22:490:22:54

deficiencies in the Bill, and while

did they vote for the Bill to pass

0:22:540:23:00

on amended when they all knew that

it was fundamentally flawed?

If the

0:23:000:23:07

honourable lady had been in the

chamber at the time, she would have

0:23:070:23:10

heard the speech by my colleague the

honourable member for East

0:23:100:23:15

Renfrewshire who clearly set out why

Clause 11 needed to be amended, and

0:23:150:23:22

the amendments of the type that

would be brought forward.

Firstly,

0:23:220:23:29

could I associate myself and the SNP

with the Secretary of State's

0:23:290:23:33

comments regarding the late Jimmy

Hood.

0:23:330:23:44

We are more than halfway through the

consideration in committee of the

0:23:450:23:49

withdrawal Bill, and in particular

its affect on devolution. I think

0:23:490:23:53

the people of Scotland need clarity

in this process. The Secretary of

0:23:530:23:57

State knows there is widespread

concern across us and it's -- his

0:23:570:24:02

own party about Clause 11. Can I ask

him, yes or no, will the Government

0:24:020:24:09

bring forward amendments to Clause

11 of the withdrawal Bill?

Yes.

I

0:24:090:24:16

think the second question is

shorter. Mr Sheppard.

Can I ask him,

0:24:160:24:22

then, when that will happen?

The

answer is, at report stage. We have

0:24:220:24:28

been very, very clear. The committee

stage of this Bill is about

0:24:280:24:34

listening, it is about adapting to

issues that have been brought

0:24:340:24:36

forward. We have listened to my

colleague from East Renfrewshire,

0:24:360:24:42

and we will bring amendments forward

to Clause 11.

Number eight, please,

0:24:420:24:53

Mr Speaker.

Further to our discussions with the

0:24:530:24:56

Scottish Government and the

announcements made in the budget,

0:24:560:24:59

there will be an additional £1.7

billion available to Scotland by way

0:24:590:25:05

of capital resource, a 33% increase

in real terms.

0:25:050:25:11

Does the Secretary of State agree

that while the sum is much less than

0:25:110:25:15

might have been hoped for, the

Barnett consequential is for housing

0:25:150:25:19

should be ring-fenced by the

Scottish Government for that purpose

0:25:190:25:23

alone, and not for another high

profile, faulty bridge?

The

0:25:230:25:29

honourable lady I know is most vexed

about the Queensferry Crossing, and

0:25:290:25:34

she is right to be so, Mr Speaker.

It was widely trumpeted by the

0:25:340:25:40

Scottish Government and the SNP as a

grid infrastructure success, and yet

0:25:400:25:44

I understand currently it is partly

closed, and is likely to be

0:25:440:25:48

suffering from closure for many

months to come. As great

0:25:480:25:53

inconvenience to her constituents.

She should address her comments to

0:25:530:25:55

the SNP and the Scottish Government.

We are grateful to those who can

0:25:550:26:01

listen -- here the Financial

Secretary. A question about Scotch

0:26:010:26:08

whiskey, a bit of order!

0:26:080:26:12

Does my honourable friend agree that

the Scotch whiskey industry has an

0:26:480:26:52

enormous opportunity to build trade

for growing markets as we build a

0:26:520:26:55

truly global Britain?

I can

absolutely agree with my honourable

0:26:550:27:01

friend that there are huge

opportunities for Scotch whiskey as

0:27:010:27:05

we leave the EU, and particularly in

South America, and I commend him on

0:27:050:27:12

his activities, and can also commend

Diagio on the creation of their

0:27:120:27:21

company on the 17th of December?

Speaker-macro, we continue to

0:27:210:27:30

provide excellent support for those

seeking support -- seeking work.

0:27:300:27:38

Most job centres are staying put, we

are merging some neighbourhood

0:27:380:27:46

offices, all of which will lead to

better customer service.

0:27:460:27:59

I set out in my answer that this was

a system to provide services and

0:28:240:28:31

there was a review of proposed

services in Glasgow and it was

0:28:310:28:36

changed in response to public

consultation. I wouldn't be doing my

0:28:360:28:40

duty if I couldn't in

0:28:400:28:42