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 team of ministers.


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Do join me for a round-up of the day

in both Houses of Parliament at 11pm

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tonight. But first we have a

question from Secretary of State for

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Scotland David Mundell.

Order order.

Questions to the Secretary of State

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for Scotland.

Mr Speaker, the

government has intensified its

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discussions with the Scottish and

Welsh governments on both the

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significance of increasing powers we

expect to see for the Scottish and

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Welsh assemblies and common UK

frameworks following UK EU exit.

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We're making good progress in these

discussions and we will be meeting

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again tomorrow for the next GMC and

where I hope further progress can be

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made.

The Secretary of State and

fellow Scottish Conservatives say

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clause 11 is deficient. He undertook

to this House he would bring forward

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amendments which he failed to do. He

has now said he will deliver

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amendments in the other place which

he still hasn't done. Can the

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Secretary of State set out what

happens if he runs out of time to

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deliver his much promised

amendments?

I am confident we will

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be able to bring forward such

amendments. We are in significant

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discussions with the Welsh Assembly

government and the Scottish

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Government. They both acknowledge

that we had tabled to them a

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significant proposals for changing

the bill and I hope to a detailed

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response to tomorrow.

Will he

confirmed that the government's wish

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as powers returned from Brussels to

the UK that they will be devolved,

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not only to Scotland, Wales and

Northern Ireland?

Yes, indeed, Mr

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Speaker, that is the wish of the

government. Whilst it is

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acknowledging in order to make our

Common Market within the UK function

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effectively, some powers and

responsibilities will have to be

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conducted at a UK wide level.

Could

the secretary of state set out to

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the House what mechanism he will use

to amend clause 11 of the bill

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should there be no agreement in

place by the time the bill completes

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his passage in the other place?

I do

not share the honourable gentleman's

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pessimism that there will not be

agreement before the bill completes

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its passage in the other place. I

remain very positive about being

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able to reach agreement with both

the Welsh government and the

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Scottish Government. I believe they

are sincere in their expressed view

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that they wish to reach such an

agreement and we will take every

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step in ensuring that we negotiate

to a position where we can reach

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that agreement.

Leaving the EU means

taking back control of our water.

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There is a huge opportunity for us

cottage fishermen. Does my

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honourable friend agree with me that

the Scottish Government's EU

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continuity bill and stated position

of remaining in the single market

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and Customs union would simply sell

out Scotland's fishermen by handing

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all those new powers back to

Brussels?

Mr Speaker, it is

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incredible that it is indeed the

position of the SNP and Scottish

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Government, while at one point come

into this House and talking about a

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power grab of being willing and

wanting to hand back powers over

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fishing right away to the EU and to

go back into the Common fisheries

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policy.

Mr Speaker, if the secretary

of state believes that Brexit is

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going to have a profound effect on

the devolution settlement, can he

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explain to the House why he was

excluded from the recent meeting of

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Cabinet colleagues at Chequers which

formulated the UK's Brexit strategy?

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I know that the honourable gentleman

does not recognise the result of the

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2014 referendum and therefore that

the UK Government Cabinet is a

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Cabinet for the whole of the United

Kingdom. As is all of its

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subcommittees. The decisions in

relation to the Prime Minister's

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approach to the EU negotiations were

agreed by the whole Cabinet.

Mr

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Speaker,...

Was a honourable

gentleman coming again? You've had

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one question. There was no Indic

patient at the honourable gentleman

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was seeking to. In an hour-long

session yes but not otherwise. I do

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not know why the honourable

gentleman's brough his forehead. He

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has got what he was entitled to.

Mr

Speaker, the secretary of state

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stood at the dispatch box and

promised this place that the

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devolution settlement would be

protected. Three months on, we are

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facing a cheap constitutional

crisis. What exactly is the

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secretary of state -- we are facing

a constitutional crisis.

I am not

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going to take any lessons from the

lady opposite from a party... For a

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party that were quite prepared in

the Scottish Parliament to play the

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SNP game and vote for a piece of

legislation which quite clearly was

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ruled by the Presiding Officer of

the Scottish Parliament is not

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competent.

My office was notified of

the intention of the honourable

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gentleman to ask a question. If you

want is to ask a second so be it but

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he shouldn't be flailing and

gesticulating as though he is being

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the subject of some adverse

treatment. But if he wants to blurt

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out a second question, he is welcome

to do so.

Thank you, Mr Speaker. I

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did want to ask a second question.

He has previously said that the most

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important thing about changes to the

withdrawal bill is that they should

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command the support of all sides.

Can I ask is that still his policy

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and does he believe that any

framework arrangement should require

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the consent of the Scottish

Parliament if they change its

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operations?

Mr Speaker, I have set

out clearly that I want to see the

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process of leaving the EU ensure

that the Scottish Parliament has

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more powers and responsibilities

than it does today. I also want to

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ensure that we have an arrangement

in place to allow us to agree

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frameworks as we move forward and

that frameworks as I have previously

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said should not be imposed. Yellow

short questions, Shaw answers. I

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want my progress.

My party as the

party of devolution and we will

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continue to protect that. We are 20

months on from the EU referendum.

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We're one year away from leaving the

EU yet Scotland's invisible man in

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the Cabinet cannot even like himself

an invite to the awayday at Chequers

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to discuss Brexit. Do you have a

plan to fix this mess or is he going

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to continue to front up a government

that is trampling all over the

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devolution settlement for Scotland?

The Scottish Labour Party will be

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judged on its actions and I do not

see it standing up for the

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devolution settlement in the

Scottish Parliament. Instead I see

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it cower to the SNP. And in relation

to devolution and commitment to the

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United Kingdom, she above all people

should know that we have United

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Kingdom Cabinet. We have a United

Kingdom Chancellor and Prime

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Minister and again she should not

kowtow to SNP arguments about

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separatism.

Mr Speaker, I met senior

RBS management in Scotland to

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discuss their decision. I made clear

that plans were disappointment for

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customers and clients across

Scotland I urge them to mitigate

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closures as much as possible.

Small

businesses have already reported in

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Wales and across the United Kingdom

that they have been refused the pain

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of large sums of cash as it

represents a security risk and post

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office staff do not have the time to

count such large sums of money.

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What's he going to do to ensure

there is no disruption to small

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businesses or the public as a result

of these ill thought out closures?

I

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share the honourable ladies view

that their ill thought out closures.

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I am happy to take the point forward

and I'm sure that colleagues will

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also be prepared to put those to the

chief executive of the Royal Bank

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who I am pleased has finally agreed

to appear before the committee.

The

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big issue for many rural communities

like that of my own constituency is

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cash to -- is the access to cash. I

wonder if the government can do more

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to ensure that rural communities are

getting access to the cash to

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support the local economies?

My

honourable friend raises a very good

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point, I will be happy to meet with

him to discuss the further.

Mr

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Speaker, the decline in our Scottish

towns is there to be seen. The

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closure of them Royal Bank will be a

further never make coughing. What

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proposals does he have to try and

arrest the decline of our towns in

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Scotland.

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He raises a very important point in

relation to rural communities. These

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proposed closures have related to

rural communities. We have to focus

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on making sure people can continue

to receive services. The issue of

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cash but also broadband, which as he

knows, we won the Scottish

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Government to roll out quickly.

It

has been the custom since 2015 that

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the SNP lead spokesman gets to

questions. The Scottish secretary is

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aware that the Scottish affair

committee on going enquiry into RBS

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closures. This is all has agreed to

appear before the committee. People

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who will not come in front of the

committee Art UK Government treasury

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Ministers, although they have a 70%

of sheer in the bank.

Can he join

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me...? Let me say to the honourable

gentleman. I need no advice from him

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or any of his colleagues on

procedure. I work on the basis of

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the office has been notified. One

question and that is why I have

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granted it. I know what I am doing.

I do require effective

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communication. It was lacking in

this case. It is not OK for the

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honourable gentleman to try and

score a procedural point, which he

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has failed to do.

My Treasury

colleagues will have heard the

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honourable gentleman's comments.

Mr

Speaker, on the 6th of February, RBS

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announced they would give ten

branches in Scotland is stay of

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execution on the basis that the eye

the last bank in town. One branch

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was given a reprieve what not the

last branch in town. Why should the

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Secretary of State's constituents be

given special treatment where other

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banks in rural constituencies are

closed down?

I know this is a

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hostage to fortune but I would like

the honourable gentleman to name

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that branch because of the three

branches and my constituency which

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were to be the subject of this

so-called reprieve, I agree with him

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it is a stay of execution, are all

the last bank in town. I think you

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should do his research in little

better.

Question three, Mr Speaker.

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Scotland held a referendum on

Scottish independence in 2014. A

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once in a generation event, we were

told. The result was decisive. Now

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is not the time for a second

independence referendum. Our focus

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should be in pulling together during

negotiations with the European Union

0:13:070:13:14

making sure we get the best deal for

the whole of the UK.

If by some

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chance the Scottish Government have

another referendum on leaving the

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single market and Customs union,

which they share with the United

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Kingdom, will my right honourable

friend show more respect to be 70.6

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million people across the UK who

voted for Brexit.

Not surprisingly I

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agree with my honourable friend and

he will be particularly aware that 1

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million people in Scotland, most of

them SNP voters, who voted to leave

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the youths had been airbrushed out

of history. They do not exist. --

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leave the European Union. Most

people in Scotland voted to leave

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the EU, if you listen to what the

first-Minister says.

Mr Speaker,

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once we have clarity on what Brexit

will mean for Scotland, does he not

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think it is right for them to decide

their future? It is not for

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Westminster politicians to stop

people making a decision's Mr

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Speaker, we had and independence

referendum in 2014.

The outcome was

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decisive. We were told the head of

that referendum that it was to be a

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once in a generation, once any

lifetime, event and that is what it

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should be.

Number four, Mr Speaker.

Mr Speaker, with permission I will

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take questions for and seven

together. The UK Government business

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or shooting or implementing a city

region deal for all of Scotland's

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seven great cities and the regions

around them. So far we have

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committed £1 billion to this

programme and there is more to come.

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We are negotiating with local

partners for the sterling and

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Clackmannanshire and to city deals

and we hope to agree in the next

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coming months.

A number of the

projects associated with the Glasgow

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city deal, to taking place in East

Renfrewshire are over budget. Is it

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not vital we get to work so that the

local communities can benefit as

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soon as possible?

I do agree with my

right honourable friend in terms of

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raising those issues in relation to

the Glasgow city deal. It is not

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enough to sign these deals and to

promote these deals, what we need is

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delivery and I will look at the

issues he has raised.

Thank you, Mr

0:15:460:15:50

Speaker. Will my right honourable

friend helped bring the deadlock

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with the devolved administration and

commit the amount of money

0:15:540:15:59

Westminster is willing to put

forward so Clackmannanshire can

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realise its true ambition's my

honourable friend has been a strong

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advocate for Clackmannanshire in

this process.

I certainly hope to

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meet with the Scottish Government to

discuss the steel and the Tate city

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deal in the hope the Scottish

Government and UK Government can go

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forward with local partners in a

Colorado civil way. -- collaborating

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with.

Does he share the frustration

in the deal and does he agree it is

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time to get on and kick-start this

deal for the people of Ayrshire?

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Yes, I do.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

With the give us a timeline when

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they are going to reach the growth

deal?

The honourable gentleman's

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constant flow of negativity is in

marked contrast to the degree local

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authorities who I met recently in

Ayrshire who are keen to work with

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the Scottish and UK Government to

make sure the Escher growth deal is

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a reality.

Question number five, Mr

Speaker.

-- Ayrshire. I will answer

0:17:080:17:17

questions five and ten together. I

have regular discussions with the

0:17:170:17:23

Prime Minister and Cabinet regarding

UK Government policy and how it

0:17:230:17:27

affects Scotland. The UK Government

is committed to securing a deal that

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works for all parts of the UK,

including Scotland.

Has the

0:17:310:17:35

Secretary of State given up in any

changes to its powers are the

0:17:350:17:43

devolved settlement this Tory

Government plans to make or is he so

0:17:430:17:47

out of the loop and no longer gets

invited to Cabinet meetings and has

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become irrelevant?

I do not know who

reads the honourable lady but the

0:17:500:17:57

joint ministerial Council for EU

negotiations is meeting tomorrow. We

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are meeting and we are hoping to

take forward solid progress that we

0:18:040:18:09

have achieved over the course of

these meetings.

Thank you, Mr

0:18:090:18:14

Speaker. One area where the Scottish

and UK governments appear to agree

0:18:140:18:18

that plans to take us out of the

single market will be devastating

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for the GDP of Scotland. What plans

to see how to protect public

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services in Scotland for that?

Mr

Speaker, the honourable gentleman

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usually takes his brief with great

seriousness and I am sure he will

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have read the Prime Minister's

speech, if not watched it last week,

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which set out how the UK Government

is going to approach the

0:18:460:18:49

negotiations.

Thank you, Mr Speaker.

Will he go back on his words about

0:18:490:18:57

the single market and have his

authority undermined by not being

0:18:570:19:02

invited to the Brexit meeting and

now we are waiting for his

0:19:020:19:05

amendments to the withdrawal bill.

The deadline is next Thursday, will

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this be another catalogue of

failures for the Secretary of State?

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I would be very pleased if after

tomorrow's meeting we are able to

0:19:130:19:19

bring forward and agreed amendment

that can be launched in the House of

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lords. That is the aspiration of the

UK Government.

Thank you, Mr

0:19:230:19:31

Speaker. Last week the Prime

Minister met with me and colleagues

0:19:310:19:36

from around the UK constituencies.

Does my right honourable friend

0:19:360:19:38

agree with me this meeting

highlighted how this Government is

0:19:380:19:43

dubious about realising the

opportunity from Brexit and only

0:19:430:19:47

this Government budget is out of the

common fisheries policy?

Yes, since

0:19:470:19:52

his election to this place last year

my honourable friend has been a very

0:19:520:19:57

powerful advocate for the fishing

industry and the wish of the fishing

0:19:570:20:01

industry to leave the common

fisheries policy, and that is what

0:20:010:20:07

this Government will deliver for the

fishing industry in Scotland.

Mr

0:20:070:20:11

Speaker, my right honourable friend

is in no doubt aware of the benefits

0:20:110:20:15

Brexit provides as part of one

United Kingdom for Scotland. Does he

0:20:150:20:22

agree with Scott in my constituency

that the talk of an unwanted

0:20:220:20:28

Scottish referendum far outweighs

any risk Brexit may present?

I agree

0:20:280:20:33

with him that talk of a second

independence referendum is unwelcome

0:20:330:20:38

and unnecessary. We have reached the

point in the negotiations where we

0:20:380:20:42

all need to come together, work with

the Prime Minister to get the best

0:20:420:20:46

possible deal for Scotland and the

whole of the United Kingdom.

What

0:20:460:20:51

progress is being made in ensuring

that Scotland's food producers will

0:20:510:20:55

still have the protection that the

need for important geographic brands

0:20:550:20:59

such as Orkney beef or Shetland lamb

after we have left the European

0:20:590:21:04

Union?

I can assure the right

honourable gentleman that despite

0:21:040:21:10

scare stories to the contrary, which

have appeared in some parts of the

0:21:100:21:15

media, there will be no change to

the protection of these brands or

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the allowing in of false brands

purporting to be them.

I am

0:21:190:21:24

grateful. Non-UK nationals are

essential to the agricultural

0:21:240:21:31

industry in East Lothian. Can he

guarantee we will have the same

0:21:310:21:34

access after we leave Europe?

I very

much welcome the debate and this

0:21:340:21:40

Parliament led by my right

honourable friend for Angus, who has

0:21:400:21:44

been a strong advocate of the need

for seasonal workers within

0:21:440:21:50

Scotland, particularly in the soft

fruit industry. The points raised in

0:21:500:21:54

that debate, the points raised in

the meetings of the select committee

0:21:540:21:58

have all been recognised by the

Government and will be looked at as

0:21:580:22:02

we move forward.

Number six, Mr

Speaker.

My colleague met with

0:22:020:22:11

partners at the Forth Valley College

and I met with the Cabinet secretary

0:22:110:22:17

Keith Brown to discuss the Scottish

contribution to the deal and I'm

0:22:170:22:21

hoping to meet with Mr Brown again

shortly.

It does sometimes feel to

0:22:210:22:27

me that the sterling city deal is

taking longer to deliver than a baby

0:22:270:22:35

elephant at the Blair Drummond

Safari Park. Where does the

0:22:350:22:41

Secretary of State decide to sign an

agreement and what discussions has

0:22:410:22:44

he had with the Secretary of State

of defence of the future use of the

0:22:440:22:50

MOD site in the city deal?

I want to

hear the deal.

Secretary of State.

0:22:500:22:59

We hope to sign that deal soon. The

Ministry of Defence and tend to

0:22:590:23:05

dispose of the site by 2020 under

the better defence strategy. We are

0:23:050:23:11

working with the MoD to find out how

the site can be part of a city deal.

0:23:110:23:15

I will give the gentleman the

benefit of the doubt.

You must not

0:23:150:23:24

shoehorn his own constituency into

the matter.

The city region deal

0:23:240:23:28

does indeed include the transfer of

MOD land and the decontamination of

0:23:280:23:35

that land to Stirling Council. I

understand that is no longer going

0:23:350:23:40

to happen. Can the Secretary of

State tell us, well it happened,

0:23:400:23:43

when will it happen or is it another

broken Tory promise?

Mr Speaker, how

0:23:430:23:52

disappointing to allow that negative

note into proceedings on city deals.

0:23:520:23:57

They have worked because they have

been a positive collaboration

0:23:570:24:02

between the UK Government, Scottish

Government, local authorities and

0:24:020:24:06

partners. It is that kind of

negativity that undermines the whole

0:24:060:24:11

reserves and stop it may be negative

but at least it was orderly.

0:24:110:24:16

Question number eight. The latest

official figures show the Scottish

0:24:160:24:26

economy is growing but at a slower

pace than we would like and lagging

0:24:260:24:30

behind the UK.

The UK Government is

delivering for Scotland, with our UK

0:24:300:24:34

wide strategy and £2 billion extra

spending. The Scottish Government

0:24:340:24:41

hold many of the levers and they

should be using those to make sure

0:24:410:24:45

Scotland becomes a competitive place

to do business.

Order. I understand

0:24:450:24:50

the sense of anticipation in the

House but we are discussing the

0:24:500:24:53

strength of the Scottish economy in

which colleagues should take a

0:24:530:24:58

polite and respectful interest.

Thank you, Mr Speaker. The Secretary

0:24:580:25:04

of State will be aware of the

closure of the plant in my

0:25:040:25:09

constituency with 450 jobs at risk.

We'll be Secretary of State join me

0:25:090:25:14

and calling the Scottish Government

to set up a task force and will he

0:25:140:25:18

meet with me to set out any help the

UK Government may be able to offer?

0:25:180:25:23

I thank the honourable gentleman for

that. Yes, the Secretary of State

0:25:230:25:28

and myself are talking about this

and he is happy to meet with the

0:25:280:25:32

honourable gentleman and we will

raise the issue with the Scottish

0:25:320:25:35

Government on his behalf.

The

success of the economy of the south

0:25:350:25:41

of Scotland is clearly linked to the

economy of the north of England and

0:25:410:25:44

in particular my constituency of

Carlisle. Would the Minister agree

0:25:440:25:50

that the border land initiative is

an exciting opportunity for both

0:25:500:25:53

sides of the border for economic

growth?

I agree with my honourable

0:25:530:25:58

friend. We are bringing about growth

deals all about the country and we

0:25:580:26:02

need to look at those areas where we

can have them cross border. We

0:26:020:26:06

welcome the project.

From

Cumbernauld...

Will be Secretary of

0:26:060:26:17

State agree with me to meet the

consequences if the proposed closure

0:26:170:26:23

of the tax office there is allowed

to proceed?

Yes.

Finally.

Number

0:26:230:26:31

nine. Number nine, Mr Speaker.

Giving we know your interest in

0:26:310:26:41

tennis and the success of Andy

Murray and Gordon Reed in the

0:26:410:26:47

wheelchair, it has increased

interest in tennis in Scotland and

0:26:470:26:50

we support measures to encourage

more people to engage in tennis and

0:26:500:26:54

any sport in Scotland.

0:26:540:27:04

Maybe Glasgow City Council could

work together to make a tennis to an

0:27:110:27:15

amount at ATP level.

Scotland has

been a great level for tennis. It is

0:27:150:27:22

Scottish Government that leads on

this and it would be welcome to hear

0:27:220:27:25

anything from

0:27:250:27:26