26/01/2017: First Minister's Questions Politics Scotland


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26/01/2017: First Minister's Questions

Coverage of First Minister's Questions in the Scottish Parliament.


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Hello. A warm welcome to the Scottish Parliament. A very busy day

:00:18.:00:26.

in politics. The Prime Minister is in Washington. At Westminster, they

:00:27.:00:31.

are publishing the Bill to trigger Brexit. It was just decided

:00:32.:00:36.

parliament should have a role rather than the UK Government. The Scottish

:00:37.:00:44.

Secretary 's meeting Mike Russell. A big concern about child health. All

:00:45.:00:50.

of that may come up in questions of the First Minister. That is crossed

:00:51.:00:56.

to the Chamber. General questions just concluding before the main

:00:57.:01:00.

event. We understand today that the Scottish Secretary has said there

:01:01.:01:08.

will have to be the consent of the Scottish Parliament ahead of the

:01:09.:01:16.

great repeal Bill. We will be hearing more about that later on

:01:17.:01:20.

this afternoon. Earlier on today the Scottish Parliament committees were

:01:21.:01:29.

discussing Brexit. What engagement is how she planned for the rest of

:01:30.:01:32.

the day? Engagements to take forward the Government's broken for

:01:33.:01:37.

Scotland. At the Royal College of Nursing, they said yesterday there

:01:38.:01:42.

are not enough nurses to meet Scotland's needs. Does the First

:01:43.:01:46.

Minister agree? There are more nurses working in our NHS than when

:01:47.:01:51.

the Government took office by a considerable number. As I said, many

:01:52.:01:56.

times before in this Chamber, we are committed to working not just with

:01:57.:02:00.

the RCN but with the BMA and other groups to make sure that together we

:02:01.:02:02.

are investing in the health service as well as investing in it and

:02:03.:02:10.

continuing to make the reforms that enable our health service to meet

:02:11.:02:14.

the challenges of the future. In terms of nurses, as she may be

:02:15.:02:19.

aware, yesterday I visited the university to meet with student

:02:20.:02:22.

nurses. We were confirming an increase in the number of student

:02:23.:02:26.

nurses. But also the protection of the bursary. ?3 million of

:02:27.:02:31.

additional support for student nurses who have children or other

:02:32.:02:34.

dependents to make it easier for them to pursue a fantastic career of

:02:35.:02:39.

nursing. I am aware the First Minister visited yesterday and what

:02:40.:02:42.

is interesting is the Royal College of Nursing spoke after that visit

:02:43.:02:45.

after the announcement and they were specific in what they said. I will

:02:46.:02:50.

read it. It is not enough to save there are more nurses, the question

:02:51.:02:56.

is whether the number meets demand and they say it does not. We should

:02:57.:03:00.

ask ourselves why we are in that situation. Six years ago as Health

:03:01.:03:04.

Secretary, the First Minister embarked on two years of

:03:05.:03:08.

catastrophic cuts the nursing places in Scotland and she was warned by

:03:09.:03:12.

nursing leaders the cuts were not sustainable and they could impact on

:03:13.:03:16.

patient care and she was warned from across the Chamber of the

:03:17.:03:19.

short-sightedness of her approach. Now as predicted, patients are

:03:20.:03:24.

paying the price as routine operations are cancelled and

:03:25.:03:27.

treatment waiting times grow, all because of staff shortages. Can I

:03:28.:03:32.

ask her if she had her time over again, which is still make the cuts

:03:33.:03:39.

to student nursing places? I well remember that period, significant

:03:40.:03:42.

challenges at that time with student nurses being unable to get work,

:03:43.:03:47.

there was a problem of nurse unemployment and we took decisions,

:03:48.:03:50.

as we were right to do, on the basis of the detail available at the time.

:03:51.:03:57.

Over the lifetime of this month, there has on average been 1000 new

:03:58.:04:03.

nurses in training Egypt than was the case in a comparable period

:04:04.:04:12.

under previous governments. The number of nurses and midwives is up

:04:13.:04:19.

by 5%, more than 2000 qualified nurses and midwives full-time

:04:20.:04:22.

equivalents working in the NHS today. That is the commitment of

:04:23.:04:26.

this government to supporting and investing in the NHS. I have been

:04:27.:04:30.

clearer in the past and I will continue to be clear about two

:04:31.:04:34.

things, the need for continued investment, that is why this

:04:35.:04:38.

government was elected on a commitment to increase investment in

:04:39.:04:42.

the health service over this Parliament by ?500 million more than

:04:43.:04:44.

inflation, a stronger commitment than any other party in this

:04:45.:04:50.

Parliament. Secondly, we have to reform the NHS. That is why we have

:04:51.:04:54.

integrated health and social care, we are also committed to getting

:04:55.:04:58.

more money into primary, community and mental health service. Right now

:04:59.:05:04.

she is arguing for a budget where we would give a massive tax cut to the

:05:05.:05:10.

top 10% of income earners in Scotland. I would ask her to reflect

:05:11.:05:14.

on what it would mean for the health budget, if we were to follow the

:05:15.:05:17.

advice of the Tories in this Chamber. That sounded fro much like

:05:18.:05:25.

the First Minister was asking for praise for trying to mop up a mess

:05:26.:05:30.

of her own cuts made. Let us focus on the impact of what has happened.

:05:31.:05:36.

We were contacted this week by a gentleman who was put on an urgent

:05:37.:05:40.

referral for treatment last year and was told he would receive surgery

:05:41.:05:44.

within 12 weeks. He has now been informed Aberdeen Royal Infirmary is

:05:45.:05:48.

no longer able to book his operation and has stopped referring patients

:05:49.:05:52.

to the golden jubilee in Clydebank. He has been told he will not get the

:05:53.:05:57.

operation he needs. This is on the back of reports this week that NHS

:05:58.:06:01.

Grampian operating theatres are lying empty because hospitals do not

:06:02.:06:08.

have the staff. I know the First Minister cannot comment on

:06:09.:06:11.

individual cases but I would like to remind her of the findings last year

:06:12.:06:16.

that after ten years of this assembly government, it has failed

:06:17.:06:19.

to do the long-term planning to build up a sustainable workforce in

:06:20.:06:23.

the NHS should recruit this SNP government. Can the First Minister

:06:24.:06:30.

explain to people like the man who cannot get an operation at the same

:06:31.:06:33.

time as operating theatres lying empty the cause of a lack of staff?

:06:34.:06:40.

I mentioned the increase in qualified nurses and midwives in an

:06:41.:06:44.

earlier answer. Staffing in total has increased under this government

:06:45.:06:50.

by Oval 11,500 full-time equivalents -- by over. It is at a record level.

:06:51.:06:58.

NHS Grampian, for example, is working to increase data staff. The

:06:59.:07:02.

surgical team at NHS Grampian has just employed seven newly qualified

:07:03.:07:07.

actor shimmers. That is the sign of the commitment we have two staffing

:07:08.:07:11.

within our National Health Service. -- newly qualified practitioners.

:07:12.:07:17.

Unlike other parties in this Chamber, certainly unlike the

:07:18.:07:21.

Conservative Party, we are committed to further investment in the NHS. I

:07:22.:07:27.

say again, ?500 million over and above inflation over the life of

:07:28.:07:32.

this Parliament. I pose again the question I posed in my last answer

:07:33.:07:36.

to Ruth Davidson. It is an important question. We are in a budget process

:07:37.:07:40.

right now where we are committed to record investment in the NHS. Ruth

:07:41.:07:47.

Davidson wants us instead to cut tax for the top 10% of income earners in

:07:48.:07:52.

Scotland. I think people have a right to expect some consistency

:07:53.:07:55.

from the Conservatives when it comes to this Chamber. We are choosing

:07:56.:08:01.

investment in the NHS. Ruth Davidson thinks we should choose tax cuts for

:08:02.:08:07.

the wealthy. She is entitled to prioritise tax cuts for the

:08:08.:08:10.

wealthiest, but she cannot come to this Chamber and ask for even more

:08:11.:08:15.

money for the health service. It is time for Davidson to choose because

:08:16.:08:18.

I choose investment in the health service. We want to grow the tax

:08:19.:08:31.

base to fund public services. She is damaging our economy. I simply asked

:08:32.:08:39.

the First Minister if staffing is all fine, why are theatres lying

:08:40.:08:47.

empty and patients not getting the operations they need? She asked this

:08:48.:08:51.

week what kind of country we want to be. I am going to tell her the

:08:52.:08:55.

answer. I want a country that is run by a Scottish Government that spends

:08:56.:08:59.

its every waking hour sorting out public services like the NHS and not

:09:00.:09:04.

obsessing about another referendum. I want a Scottish Government that

:09:05.:09:09.

actually wants to deal with the child obesity crisis exposed today,

:09:10.:09:13.

not plotting how Brexit can be used to create more division and

:09:14.:09:17.

uncertainty in Scotland. That is the country I want back. She says that

:09:18.:09:25.

we must confront independence but I think it is probably time she

:09:26.:09:30.

confronted the failings of ten years of this incompetent SNP government

:09:31.:09:37.

and she tackled them instead. That is a bit rich coming from the party

:09:38.:09:42.

that created the Brexit disaster that the rest of us are dealing

:09:43.:09:49.

with. Ruth Davidson at least poses the right question because it is a

:09:50.:09:53.

question of what kind of country we want to live in. I go back to the

:09:54.:09:57.

question I posed to her earlier because she cannot have it both

:09:58.:10:00.

ways. We are in a budget process right now, Ruth Davidson's priority

:10:01.:10:05.

as she has said in the Chamber before is to cut taxes for higher

:10:06.:10:09.

rate taxpayers. She wants to cut taxes for the top 10% of income

:10:10.:10:15.

earners in this country. If we do that, she is entitled to set it as a

:10:16.:10:19.

priority, but if we do that, the reality will be less money available

:10:20.:10:25.

to invest in the NHS. Yes, it is a choice, a choice about the kind of

:10:26.:10:29.

country we want to live in. I choose a country that invests in its health

:10:30.:10:34.

service, not one that cuts taxes for the richest. That is the difference

:10:35.:10:38.

between this government and the conservative opposition. I will

:10:39.:10:41.

continue to take the action we have done over the past ten years to get

:10:42.:10:45.

more staff into the health service, more investment, waiting times down,

:10:46.:10:52.

and I will continue to make sure we take that action over the life of

:10:53.:10:56.

this Parliament and I will leave the Tories, the increasingly right ring

:10:57.:11:01.

Conservative Party to argue for tax cuts for the richest in our society

:11:02.:11:12.

-- right wing. To ask the First Minister what engagements she has

:11:13.:11:16.

planned for the rest of the week. I have engagements to take forward the

:11:17.:11:20.

Government's programme for Scotland. A new report published today exposes

:11:21.:11:24.

the horrific gap between the richest and the rest in Scotland. The Royal

:11:25.:11:28.

College of GPs in child health say that in Scotland a child from a poor

:11:29.:11:32.

Greg Grandin is more likely to suffer from ill health than a child

:11:33.:11:38.

from a wealthy area -- a child from a poor background. The child's part

:11:39.:11:42.

in life is the determined before they leave the womb based on how

:11:43.:11:47.

much money their parents have. How does the First Minister think

:11:48.:11:52.

cutting ?327 million from local services will change that? As Kezia

:11:53.:12:00.

Dugdale knows, that is not the case. The budget we have put forward is

:12:01.:12:08.

putting more than ?200 million into local services. Let me turn to the

:12:09.:12:14.

important report that has been published today. It is an important

:12:15.:12:18.

report and has important messages for the Scottish Government but

:12:19.:12:22.

indeed for governments right across the UK. It is important to note at

:12:23.:12:29.

the outset the report's view, I am quoting, there have been notable

:12:30.:12:31.

improvements in health indicators for children over recent years,

:12:32.:12:35.

there is much the Scottish Government is doing to reduce the

:12:36.:12:39.

impact of inequality and there is much in Scotland that can be

:12:40.:12:42.

celebrated and learn from. That said, I agree with the report that

:12:43.:12:46.

there is much more required to be done and we cannot be complacent. We

:12:47.:12:52.

will consider carefully all of the recommendations, many of the

:12:53.:12:59.

recommendations are already in action. Investment in health

:13:00.:13:02.

visitors, for example. The child poverty Bill including income -based

:13:03.:13:09.

poverty measures at its heart. The maternity and neonatal review

:13:10.:13:12.

published last week, action to reduce smoking harm, action to

:13:13.:13:16.

tackle obesity and improve physical health. Supporting the Daily Mail in

:13:17.:13:24.

our schools, for example. -- daily mile. As we get more welfare powers,

:13:25.:13:29.

we will do things like introduce a new grant for the tourist families

:13:30.:13:32.

across the country. I would hope that on this most important of

:13:33.:13:37.

issues we would have support across the Chamber for the measures we are

:13:38.:13:40.

taking to improve child health and reduce inequality. The macro poorest

:13:41.:13:47.

families. -- the poorest families across the country. It is not just

:13:48.:13:53.

the Labour Party that says there are ?327 million of cuts, it is the

:13:54.:13:56.

Scottish Parliament's bone information centre, the institute,

:13:57.:14:05.

it is... Does she have an alternative fact for each

:14:06.:14:08.

organisation? -- own information centre. Last night the Parliament

:14:09.:14:16.

refused to deduce a majority for the budget. Labour will not stand by

:14:17.:14:20.

while nationalist ministers who repeatedly professed their love for

:14:21.:14:25.

this country cut public services by ?327 million, hurting the most

:14:26.:14:33.

vulnerable people in this country. Presiding Officer, the shameful gap

:14:34.:14:38.

between the richest and the rest is following young people into

:14:39.:14:42.

adulthood. New figures published show that since the First Minister

:14:43.:14:45.

took office, more people are going to university and that is welcome,

:14:46.:14:51.

but here is the thing, since the First Minister took office, they are

:14:52.:14:56.

ten times more likely to be from richer backgrounds than from the

:14:57.:15:01.

poorest communities. Meanwhile, we also learnt this week there are

:15:02.:15:07.

150,000 fewer people going to our colleges. This is a First Minister

:15:08.:15:11.

that said closing the attainment gap is her top priority. Isn't it the

:15:12.:15:15.

case that the gap between the richest and the rest is widening on

:15:16.:15:23.

her watch? Let me try and take these issues one by one. In terms of the

:15:24.:15:27.

budget, I heard Kezia Dugdale mention the Fraser of Allander

:15:28.:15:34.

institute, comments along the line of the headline was that more than

:15:35.:15:39.

?200 million of extra investment in local services, extra investment in

:15:40.:15:44.

schools, extra investment in social care, the ability for local councils

:15:45.:15:49.

to increased council tax to raise revenue, something Labour councils

:15:50.:15:55.

have argued for, even though they promised the opposite after the

:15:56.:15:58.

election. The budget prioritises services, fair tax and boosting our

:15:59.:16:04.

economy. In terms of the other issues Kezia Dugdale raised in what

:16:05.:16:07.

I thought was a scatter-gun question, in terms of... In terms of

:16:08.:16:16.

colleges, what we saw this week was the Government meeting its

:16:17.:16:21.

commitment to maintain 160,000 full-time equivalent places in

:16:22.:16:26.

colleges. That was the manifesto commitment and that is what we are

:16:27.:16:30.

doing. Our budget is proposing an increase in the college budget of

:16:31.:16:36.

?20 million. Another 20 million in capital funding to continue the

:16:37.:16:37.

modernising of our colleges state. If we look at the numbers going to

:16:38.:16:49.

university from the poorest backgrounds, we have a record number

:16:50.:16:54.

getting a place at the Scottish university. It is up 3.2% on the

:16:55.:17:03.

previous year and it is up 26.5% on 2011th. As I was discussing with our

:17:04.:17:07.

new fair access commissioner when I met him earlier this week, there is

:17:08.:17:11.

much more to do, but as we continue to take action we are building on

:17:12.:17:15.

the solid progress made already by this government. That is the same

:17:16.:17:23.

fair access Commissioner who said this week that he doesn't have

:17:24.:17:28.

enough money to do his job. That was in the Times this morning. That can

:17:29.:17:32.

be summed up in move along now, there's nothing to see here. Today's

:17:33.:17:38.

report says hundreds of children in Scotland are dying because they are

:17:39.:17:42.

poor and young people are accessing university because of that property.

:17:43.:17:46.

And thousands of women, desperate to make a better life for their

:17:47.:17:51.

families, are being squeezed out of college. Yet the First Minister's

:17:52.:18:06.

response is the play a game of Russian roulette with the

:18:07.:18:10.

constitution and impose these cuts on schools and valuable services.

:18:11.:18:12.

She should stop the grandstanding on Europe and the goings on

:18:13.:18:14.

independence and Teller space, what really is the SNP's top priority? Is

:18:15.:18:16.

it closing the gap between the richest and the rest or is it

:18:17.:18:19.

another device if independence referendum? That was very, very

:18:20.:18:25.

telling, wasn't it? Interestingly if the Conservatives and Labour who

:18:26.:18:29.

want to talk about the constitution today, not me or anyone on these

:18:30.:18:37.

benches. Kezia Dugdale used to say not that long ago that we should

:18:38.:18:42.

protect our place in Europe. It wasn't that long ago she was

:18:43.:18:45.

standing where she is today demanding that the Scottish

:18:46.:18:49.

Government protected our place in Europe. Today that is grandstanding.

:18:50.:18:54.

Labour yet again roll over and do exactly as they are told by the

:18:55.:19:02.

Conservative Party. No wonder... No wonder the Scottish Labour Party is

:19:03.:19:08.

in the pathetic state that it is in today. Not the courage of its

:19:09.:19:12.

convictions, but let me turn again to the important things that Kezia

:19:13.:19:19.

Dugdale raised. Child poverty and inequality and getting more children

:19:20.:19:22.

from poorer backgrounds into university. These problems didn't

:19:23.:19:27.

stop on the SNP took office will stop these problems developed under

:19:28.:19:31.

generations of Labour government in this country. What this government

:19:32.:19:35.

has done is stuck to make progress to tackle these problems, getting

:19:36.:19:40.

more young people from poorer backgrounds into university,

:19:41.:19:43.

tackling child poverty. So we will continue to take the action that

:19:44.:19:47.

Scotland needs and we will leave Labour whining on the sidelines. A

:19:48.:19:58.

constituency question from Edward Mountain. To ask the First Minister

:19:59.:20:04.

whether the management of the whip campus project which costs in excess

:20:05.:20:11.

of 40 million and was due to open in October, but was only handed over to

:20:12.:20:16.

the Highland Council this month causes concern? In light of the

:20:17.:20:19.

problems with Edinburgh schools, parents are concerned to hear of

:20:20.:20:27.

supporting scaffolding being found behind a staircase and hidden behind

:20:28.:20:33.

a plasterboard wall. Will she join me in asking for an independent

:20:34.:20:38.

enquiry into this project? This is a Highland Council project. There has

:20:39.:20:42.

been delays and I know the council has engaged with the local community

:20:43.:20:47.

regarding the reasons for the delays. I'm happy to look into those

:20:48.:20:50.

issues, although in the first instance it will be a matter for the

:20:51.:20:56.

Highland Council, but I will ask the Education Secretary to answer that

:20:57.:21:00.

specific question to him in writing. What issues will be discussed at the

:21:01.:21:05.

next meeting of the Cabinet? Matters of importance to the people of

:21:06.:21:10.

Scotland. Yet again this week this Parliament and this government has

:21:11.:21:13.

been dominated by independence. It has been like that... They laugh,

:21:14.:21:23.

they laugh, but it is this government that is obsessed with

:21:24.:21:26.

independence, not with solving the problems in this country. It has

:21:27.:21:32.

been like that for almost every day of every week for the years of this

:21:33.:21:39.

government, but this week we hear about college places cuts, economic

:21:40.:21:46.

growth being week and unemployment rising. Threats about independence

:21:47.:21:51.

won't solve those problems. It is the budget for the economy and young

:21:52.:21:58.

people that will. Cost the budget proposals are urgent. Yesterday her

:21:59.:22:02.

government failed to command a majority for her budget in this

:22:03.:22:08.

Parliament. It is not looking good for next week's vote. Does she

:22:09.:22:13.

recognise that? Firstly, I don't know how Willie Rennie has spent his

:22:14.:22:22.

week. Mine has been dominated we're talking about nurses, getting

:22:23.:22:28.

students into university. I did not answer Scotland to be in the

:22:29.:22:32.

position of facing being taken out of the European Union against

:22:33.:22:36.

Motherwell. In 2014 Willie Rennie, Ruth Davidson, Kezia Dugdale looked

:22:37.:22:40.

the Scottish people in the eye and told them that if they vote no, the

:22:41.:22:45.

place in the European Union would be protected. It was not me, it was not

:22:46.:22:49.

this government or the people of Scotland who asked to be in this

:22:50.:22:54.

position. I will apologise to know one for standing up for Scotland's

:22:55.:22:59.

interests and trying to protect Scotland's interests. And in terms

:23:00.:23:03.

of the budget we will continue to talk to other parties if they are

:23:04.:23:08.

willing to talk to us in a constructive manner and it's part of

:23:09.:23:11.

the tone of his question, I know Willie Rennie has been doing with

:23:12.:23:15.

the Finance Secretary. We will continue to look for compromise, we

:23:16.:23:20.

will continue to take appropriate compromises, but we will also be

:23:21.:23:24.

very clear that as the largest party in this Parliament by a considerable

:23:25.:23:29.

distance, we have a duty to the people of Scotland to deliver on our

:23:30.:23:34.

manifesto. With that principle in mind we will continue to talk to

:23:35.:23:37.

other parties about budget positions over the course of this week. She

:23:38.:23:42.

started off answering that question by saying that she denied she was

:23:43.:23:48.

obsessed about independence and then spent almost the rest of the answer

:23:49.:23:50.

doing exactly that. If the SNP members can calm down

:23:51.:24:07.

just a little bit, I will try and finish my answer. I am afraid this

:24:08.:24:16.

First Minister is so focused on her lifelong mission of independence,

:24:17.:24:20.

she is incapable of seeing the problems on her own doorstep. Look

:24:21.:24:24.

at the child health report today. The death in prison, the mental

:24:25.:24:33.

health sickness rates, the list goes on. Each and every one is a human

:24:34.:24:40.

tragedy. These are the things that need her time, not scheming about

:24:41.:24:47.

independence. A week to go until the budget, the clock is ticking. Will

:24:48.:24:52.

she change in time? Will she looked at the proposals from the other

:24:53.:24:55.

parties seriously rather than the way that she is doing just now, will

:24:56.:25:03.

independence be first? Can I give Willie Rennie a bit of a tip. If he

:25:04.:25:07.

does not want me to answer on a particular issue, he should not ask

:25:08.:25:14.

me about that issue. If he asks me a question, I tend to try to answer

:25:15.:25:19.

it. If he had wanted to talk about the child poverty report or the

:25:20.:25:26.

depths: in prisons, he should ask these questions are asked me about

:25:27.:25:29.

this important issues because these are the important issues that I

:25:30.:25:33.

spent every single day looking at and considering and committing

:25:34.:25:37.

Scottish Government action to. In terms of the budget, Willie Rennie

:25:38.:25:40.

knows that we are carefully and seriously considering his proposals,

:25:41.:25:45.

as we will with any reasonable proposals that come forward. I must

:25:46.:25:50.

say we are not getting any reasonable proposals from Labour or

:25:51.:25:52.

the Conservative Party because they've already decided the position

:25:53.:25:57.

on this budget, but as long as reasonable proposals come forward we

:25:58.:26:02.

will consider them and we will seek to continue to build compromise

:26:03.:26:06.

across this Chamber. We will also take seriously our duty to the

:26:07.:26:15.

people of Scotland and as the largest party in this Chamber we

:26:16.:26:18.

will try to deliver on the manifesto we were elected on. And I asked the

:26:19.:26:32.

First Minister for her reaction on the clause regarding rape. A woman

:26:33.:26:49.

should not be forced to disclose whether or not she has been raped in

:26:50.:26:59.

order to receive Social Security. It's yet another example of how the

:27:00.:27:03.

conservatives come to this Chamber demanding action on these kind of

:27:04.:27:08.

issues when their colleagues at Westminster are taking action that

:27:09.:27:12.

is undermining all the attempts to tackle child poverty and improve

:27:13.:27:23.

equality in this country. Is the First Minister aware that rape

:27:24.:27:25.

crisis Shetland want to ensure women who have been sexually assaulted

:27:26.:27:31.

don't need to travel to Aberdeen for forensic examination. Will she

:27:32.:27:35.

accept the prospect of travel by plane or overnight ferry is a

:27:36.:27:39.

barrier to rape survivors contacting the police and will she ensure that

:27:40.:27:43.

medical equipment and medical staff are provided so that the teams of

:27:44.:27:52.

sexual assault can be examined quickly and sensitively in Lerwick.

:27:53.:27:56.

We are reviewing the way that forensic examinations are undertaken

:27:57.:27:59.

for victims of rape to ensure they are carried out sensitively. I

:28:00.:28:15.

understand absolutely that there are particular issues and particular

:28:16.:28:19.

challenges when we are dealing with our island communities, but someone

:28:20.:28:23.

who has been the victim of rape in the island communities has the same

:28:24.:28:31.

right in terms of the access to justice as anyone anywhere else. I

:28:32.:28:34.

will be happy to asked the Justice Secretary to discuss the issues as

:28:35.:28:42.

they relate to Shetland in more detail. The First Minister will be

:28:43.:28:46.

aware that her Cabinet Secretary for finances due to visit Aberdeen

:28:47.:28:50.

tomorrow to meet with members of the Chamber of commerce. At that meeting

:28:51.:28:57.

Mr Mackay will be handed a letter signed by every member of Aberdeen

:28:58.:29:01.

city centre safety group Unite with some venues facing 300% increase in

:29:02.:29:06.

the rates. Some businesses have already been forced into

:29:07.:29:12.

administration and rate rises means more will disappear. Come the First

:29:13.:29:17.

Minister give a commitment that her Cabinet Secretary will do more than

:29:18.:29:21.

pay lip service to affected businesses and will instead take

:29:22.:29:26.

expedient and immediate action to seek a solution to mitigate a

:29:27.:29:31.

potentially devastating impact. The Finance Secretary will have these

:29:32.:29:35.

meeting, but the member presumably heard the exchanges at First

:29:36.:29:38.

Minister's Questions last week. This is an independently -- revaluation

:29:39.:29:48.

process. The Scottish Government cannot intervene and all businesses

:29:49.:29:51.

if they think the valuation for the property is wrong have until

:29:52.:29:55.

September of this year to issue an appeal with the Scottish Government

:29:56.:30:02.

does have the power to act. We have taken action to lift 100,000 small

:30:03.:30:07.

business premises out of business rates altogether and we will

:30:08.:30:12.

continue to make sure we have a business rates regime, including

:30:13.:30:15.

lowering the poundage rates, that supports economic growth in this

:30:16.:30:22.

country. To ask the First Minister what the Scottish Government

:30:23.:30:25.

position is on the UK Government's new strategy on industry. It's

:30:26.:30:35.

underpinned by our manufacturing strategy and a willingness to

:30:36.:30:42.

intervene in key sectors to save steel plants and other industries.

:30:43.:30:47.

The UK has lacked a strategic approach for many years and

:30:48.:30:51.

therefore be publication of the industrial strategy this week is

:30:52.:30:56.

welcome. That said there was lack of engagement from the UK Government

:30:57.:30:59.

with the Scottish Government over the consultation paper which covers

:31:00.:31:04.

many devolved policy areas. We have written to the secretary of state

:31:05.:31:09.

for business, energy and industrial strategy and we will work with the

:31:10.:31:13.

UK Government on this for the benefit of the Scottish economy and

:31:14.:31:14.

the wider UK economy. Does she agree it is vital any

:31:15.:31:22.

industrial strategy aiming to reduce regional strategy must be compatible

:31:23.:31:29.

with economic development projects? Can she advised the Chamber whether

:31:30.:31:33.

an industrial strategy which the Prime Minister claims will reach

:31:34.:31:37.

every corner of the UK despite their record on regional development is

:31:38.:31:41.

more likely to succeed in attracting investment while increasing

:31:42.:31:45.

innovation, research and development and employment and productivity with

:31:46.:31:50.

Scotland in or out of the single market? I agree about the growth

:31:51.:31:56.

deal, any industrial strategy has to be built on recognising and

:31:57.:31:59.

supporting regional economic strengths. As I said in my initial

:32:00.:32:03.

answer, we have been disappointed by the limited consultation so far. The

:32:04.:32:10.

first time the Secretary of State for Business got in touch was on

:32:11.:32:13.

Monday morning, hours before the document was published. Keith Brown

:32:14.:32:16.

has written to request stronger in gauge went which is in the interest

:32:17.:32:21.

of the Scottish and UK Governments. On the final point, there is a

:32:22.:32:26.

danger the UK Government's proposed hard Brexit would jeopardise the

:32:27.:32:29.

Scottish economy, businesses and jobs they provide and that is why we

:32:30.:32:33.

continue to call on the UK Government to deliver membership of

:32:34.:32:38.

the single market with its market of 500 million people, ideally for the

:32:39.:32:41.

UK as a whole, but certainly for Scotland. What is the Scottish

:32:42.:32:48.

Government's response to the recent claim that three quarters of the

:32:49.:32:52.

country's neonatal units do not have enough nurses? I welcome the

:32:53.:32:58.

publication of the report and I would want to take this opportunity

:32:59.:33:02.

to commend Bliss on the work they do supporting parents with babies in

:33:03.:33:07.

neonatal care. They played a vital part in our own review and

:33:08.:33:10.

recommendations published last week. Boards must ensure the neonatal

:33:11.:33:19.

units are appropriately and stay -- safely staffed. To ensure babies

:33:20.:33:24.

receive safe levels of care. The networks have put processes in place

:33:25.:33:28.

to manage and escalate concerns if any units are under pressure at any

:33:29.:33:33.

time. I thank the First Minister for that answer but can I quote to her

:33:34.:33:37.

direct you what the chief executive of Bliss Scotland has said about the

:33:38.:33:42.

reality facing the service? She said, neonatal units are

:33:43.:33:46.

understaffed and under resourced now and this is putting babies across

:33:47.:33:50.

Scotland at risk. The report also states that just two of the units

:33:51.:33:54.

have plans to recruit the necessary nurses to meet the bad binman

:33:55.:33:58.

standards for adequate neonatal service provision. After ten years,

:33:59.:34:03.

will she apologise to parents across Scotland who see this workforce

:34:04.:34:10.

crisis in the NHS? -- to meet the bare minimum standards. They were

:34:11.:34:14.

fully involved in the review and the member quoted the chief executive of

:34:15.:34:20.

Bliss and I will quote her as well in terms of what you said about the

:34:21.:34:24.

review, it sets out an ambitious and progressive vision for Sam Murray

:34:25.:34:27.

centred care which is good news for the future of the services -- for

:34:28.:34:36.

family centred care. Bliss are involved in making sure we take the

:34:37.:34:39.

action that ensures high-quality neonatal care is therefore babies

:34:40.:34:44.

when they need it and we will press on with exactly that action. Thank

:34:45.:34:52.

you. Can I thank Bliss Scotland for a powerful report? The Scottish

:34:53.:34:55.

covenant published the review last week of maternity and neonatal

:34:56.:34:59.

services, there is a lot in the report that deserves consideration.

:35:00.:35:02.

Can I urge the First Minister to bring it forward in a statement to

:35:03.:35:06.

the Parliament? A key recommendation was round local services and I

:35:07.:35:10.

quote, a number of choices should be available to all women in Scotland,

:35:11.:35:17.

including birth at home, but in and alongside midwifery units, hospital

:35:18.:35:20.

birth. It goes against the proposals to close the maternity units at

:35:21.:35:28.

hospitals, will the First Minister finally accept the will of this

:35:29.:35:33.

Parliament and call for proposals in and reject them? The proposals

:35:34.:35:43.

talked about in terms of Glasgow are not firm proposals. We cannot call

:35:44.:35:47.

in something that has not been made in a firm proposal and the reason

:35:48.:35:51.

for that is we made very clear that we expected health boards to have

:35:52.:35:57.

regard to the maternity and neonatal review recommendations before they

:35:58.:35:59.

took decisions of that nature and that is what they are going to do.

:36:00.:36:05.

Looking at the recommendations and assessing any decisions they may

:36:06.:36:10.

what to take in light of the recommendations -- they may want. We

:36:11.:36:18.

have had the opportunity to consider the recommendations. There is an

:36:19.:36:22.

awful lot of detail in the report. The Health Secretary will come to

:36:23.:36:25.

Parliament and set out the Government's thinking in how we take

:36:26.:36:29.

it forward but we are determined to act on the review, the key

:36:30.:36:34.

recommendation in it is that every woman has continuity of care from a

:36:35.:36:37.

primary midwife who provides the majority of their antenatal cover

:36:38.:36:41.

childbirth and postnatal care as part of a new model of care. That

:36:42.:36:46.

presumably is why the chief executive of Bliss described it as

:36:47.:36:51.

an ambitious and progressive vision, and one we would be proud to

:36:52.:36:59.

deliver. To ask the First Minister what the impact would be on

:37:00.:37:02.

redevelopment plans for universities following its decision to ask the

:37:03.:37:05.

Scottish funding council to pay back ?50 million. There was no impact on

:37:06.:37:10.

our commitments to colleges and universities. The underspend was

:37:11.:37:13.

primarily because of the difference between academic and financial years

:37:14.:37:17.

and it was only recouped on the basis of explicit assurances from

:37:18.:37:20.

the council that all financial commitments had been met. I thank

:37:21.:37:28.

her for that answer. Education committee last month, John Swinney

:37:29.:37:31.

said all of the financial commitments universities and

:37:32.:37:33.

colleges had been met in full, but this week, we have learned objects

:37:34.:37:38.

to develop a campus of the University of Westminster and and a

:37:39.:37:42.

campus of the Scottish rural University College, they were thrown

:37:43.:37:45.

into jeopardy as a result of this claw-back. Why did her deputy failed

:37:46.:37:51.

to mention these two projects shelved as a result of the decision?

:37:52.:37:57.

At a time when universities are describing the funding package as

:37:58.:38:00.

unsustainable, why did the Scottish Government take this money out of

:38:01.:38:04.

the university system? I read explained the reason for the

:38:05.:38:07.

underspend and I do not think the characterisation of the member in

:38:08.:38:13.

the capital projects, I do not think it is correct. -- I ready explain.

:38:14.:38:19.

If we take the Hamilton College, that project is taking its course

:38:20.:38:28.

and I hope to see it progress. I repeat what I said earlier which is

:38:29.:38:32.

what the Education Secretary said to Parliament in committee, no changes

:38:33.:38:36.

to the planned allocation of funding to universities or colleges, no

:38:37.:38:39.

institution has lost out and I hope that reassurance is welcome to the

:38:40.:38:45.

Chamber. Thank you. The First Minister has just been made aware of

:38:46.:38:49.

the shameful attempts of Labour to link the campus in Hamilton to this

:38:50.:38:53.

issue. While I am saddened at the campus will no longer continue in

:38:54.:38:58.

the town centre, does the First Minister agree that the solution

:38:59.:39:01.

arrived at to build a brand-new state of the art hampers at Hamilton

:39:02.:39:09.

which will accommodate more students and the potential to bring

:39:10.:39:12.

substantial economic and social benefits? Can she advised that while

:39:13.:39:17.

the support and advice provided by Scottish funding council throughout

:39:18.:39:20.

the process has been most welcome, should capital funding be required

:39:21.:39:24.

to complete the project, she might consider that favourably? She has

:39:25.:39:32.

just underlined the point I made, this issue in terms of the Hamilton

:39:33.:39:41.

College campus, it is with the council still yew College and the

:39:42.:39:43.

funding council. I am pleased they will be developing the campus

:39:44.:39:48.

because it brings the potential benefits she highlights,

:39:49.:39:51.

particularly for young people in her constituency. It has been fully

:39:52.:39:57.

involved to date and I would expect the support to continue, as the

:39:58.:39:59.

project develops, to ensure this project is realised. Thank you. The

:40:00.:40:06.

financial report to the Scottish funding council board dated the 20th

:40:07.:40:13.

of February, 2014, confirms the Scottish covenant had advised the

:40:14.:40:16.

Scottish funding council not to apply any of the 50 million funds --

:40:17.:40:21.

the Scottish Government. Until the 2nd of October, 2014, when the

:40:22.:40:24.

Scottish Government issued further confirmation it wanted the money

:40:25.:40:29.

back, funding council was discussing how to spend the money. Who is

:40:30.:40:32.

responsible for the gross mismanagement? The Scottish funding

:40:33.:40:38.

council knew throughout that this was money that would be returned to

:40:39.:40:42.

the Scottish Government. As I said in my previous answer, the decision

:40:43.:40:46.

to do that did not affect the planned allocation of funding to

:40:47.:40:51.

universities or colleges. This government will continue to make

:40:52.:40:53.

sure we give fair funding settlements to universities and

:40:54.:40:58.

colleges. I said in an earlier answer, the budget currently before

:40:59.:41:02.

Parliament proposes an increase in investment in our colleges of ?20

:41:03.:41:07.

million in resource funding and ?20 million in capital funding.

:41:08.:41:11.

Throughout the lifetime of this covenant, we have invested half ?1

:41:12.:41:15.

billion in modernising our college is state -- government. We have

:41:16.:41:19.

brand-new campuses in Glasgow, one in my constituency. I opened the new

:41:20.:41:26.

airship campus just a matter of weeks ago -- Ayrshire. The evidence

:41:27.:41:40.

of the investment speaks for itself. To ask the First Minister what the

:41:41.:41:43.

Scottish Government's position is on reports of NHS boards spending over

:41:44.:41:51.

?1500 on a single agency nurse shift. We are clear with boards they

:41:52.:41:55.

must make every effort to drive agency spending down but we

:41:56.:41:58.

recognise there may be times because of peaks in demand of staff illness

:41:59.:42:03.

for example in highly specialised areas that agency staff are used to

:42:04.:42:09.

ensure safe care of patients. Agency usage remains very low, 0.4% of

:42:10.:42:15.

nursing and midwifery capacity in 2015-16. We are working with NHS

:42:16.:42:20.

national services Scotland on a nationally coordinated programme for

:42:21.:42:26.

temporary staffing. I think my constituents will have been shocked

:42:27.:42:30.

by that figure and also by the fact some ?4.8 million was spent in the

:42:31.:42:36.

last year on agency nurses and midwives in Lothian alone and that

:42:37.:42:43.

is four times the amount spent three years ago. It is an increasing and

:42:44.:42:49.

humongous amount of money spent on supposedly temporary measures which

:42:50.:42:54.

cannot be spent using the First Minister's words on investing in the

:42:55.:42:58.

NHS. The First Minister, as a former Health Minister responsible for

:42:59.:43:05.

cutting student nurse places, she surely has the humility to accept

:43:06.:43:08.

some personal responsibility for that? As I said, spending on agency

:43:09.:43:17.

staffing is very low in the NHS and agency usage amounts to less than

:43:18.:43:25.

half of 1% of nursing and midwifery capacity in 2015-16. As I said

:43:26.:43:29.

earlier, we have increased the number of qualified nurses and

:43:30.:43:34.

midwives. But we want to see reliance on agency staffing reduced

:43:35.:43:38.

even further which is why we are committed to investing even further

:43:39.:43:42.

in staffing. I take personal response will for everything in my

:43:43.:43:48.

responsibility. I have not heard the member asked the Prime Minister or

:43:49.:43:52.

Health Secretary South of the border to take responsibility for the

:43:53.:43:57.

report in July when NHS trusts paid over ?2000 for a single agency

:43:58.:44:01.

shift. We will continue to take the action to make sure our NHS is

:44:02.:44:06.

properly staffed, delivering the excellent care they do to patients

:44:07.:44:14.

across the country. The close of questions of the first

:44:15.:44:17.

list, closing as they began with discussions about the health service

:44:18.:44:24.

-- First Minister. Alternative fact, it has come across the Atlantic it

:44:25.:44:31.

is being used even by the Trump team and the Prime Minister is going to

:44:32.:44:38.

see the US president in the next day or so. She is in Washington now for

:44:39.:44:42.

talks with the Republican party. I'm joined by two colleagues, Lindsay

:44:43.:44:49.

McIntosh and Robbie Dinwoodie. Alternative fact is, let us go to

:44:50.:44:54.

Kezia Dugdale, she raised that subject, she is saying huge cuts in

:44:55.:44:56.

local government, Nicola Sturgeon saying huge increases in local

:44:57.:45:03.

services. The great irony. The figures come from the same analysis.

:45:04.:45:09.

Fraser of Allander looked at it and think you can see it as cuts to

:45:10.:45:16.

local services, but if you look at it another way, because of the money

:45:17.:45:20.

going into merging the NHS and the care budgets, you could say... And

:45:21.:45:27.

money from schools. It is a fact that the figures can be interpreted

:45:28.:45:32.

in different ways, hence you get the claim alternative facts. A bit

:45:33.:45:38.

baffling for the listeners. To be fair, the two ways to interpret it,

:45:39.:45:42.

unlike the original etymology of alternative facts which was the two

:45:43.:45:50.

pictures of the capital. That is just black and white. There is a bit

:45:51.:45:53.

of wiggle room. Kezia Dugdale getting very exercised

:45:54.:46:04.

in the attack. She was and I think Nicola Sturgeon struggled more

:46:05.:46:07.

against Kvyat Dugdale than she did against Ruth Davidson. It felt that

:46:08.:46:14.

when Kezia attacks Nicola from the left, she gets more uncomfortable

:46:15.:46:19.

than when she can slap down the evil Tories on the right. She describes

:46:20.:46:24.

Kezia Dugdale's approach is being scatter-gun. What do you make of the

:46:25.:46:29.

approach she was making? She was trying to build upon a series of

:46:30.:46:34.

points. What she was trying to do was tied the problems that we are

:46:35.:46:37.

seeing in the health service at the moment directly back to Nicola

:46:38.:46:41.

Sturgeon when she was Health Secretary Fred Gray number of years

:46:42.:46:45.

under Alex Salmond's administration. What Ruth did was bring up a Times

:46:46.:46:53.

story about what is really difficult situation in NHS Grampian about

:46:54.:46:57.

theatre is going despite patients needing operations because there

:46:58.:47:02.

aren't enough staff to fill them. And, Robbie, Ruth Davidson pursuing

:47:03.:47:07.

a tactic that has become almost standard week after week. I don't

:47:08.:47:11.

expect you to comment on an individual case, but here is an

:47:12.:47:15.

individual case. The point is there is never a tactic that has become

:47:16.:47:17.

almost standard week after week. I don't expect you to comment on an

:47:18.:47:20.

individual case, but here is an individual case. The point is there

:47:21.:47:22.

is another way to completely satisfy or demand in the NHS. This easy to

:47:23.:47:33.

attack the previous administration, but the SNP, we are getting the same

:47:34.:47:38.

mantra. Ten years is a long time in power. It is on your watch now. It

:47:39.:47:42.

is not an easy thing to say, but the great comeback as Lynsey rightly

:47:43.:47:50.

says that Nicola has got against Ruth Davidson is alimony, you want a

:47:51.:47:56.

10% tax for the wealthiest in this country. You will make things worse.

:47:57.:48:03.

Let's talk about that. It was a contrary distinction. Ruth Davidson

:48:04.:48:06.

arguing for expenditure in the health service and Nicola Sturgeon

:48:07.:48:09.

fighting back with the tax point, a reflection of the fact that this

:48:10.:48:13.

government now has tax powers as well as spending powers. The point

:48:14.:48:20.

is that she says big your side. Do we spend money on the NHS or giving

:48:21.:48:25.

tax cuts to the rich. You have to call that one, Ruth. I thought it

:48:26.:48:30.

was a good stance. On the budget generally. It was the background to

:48:31.:48:34.

it because Nicola Sturgeon was saying you are in favour of this in

:48:35.:48:37.

the middle of these budget negotiations. What I think was quite

:48:38.:48:42.

clear is that they have given up on getting any deals with Labour. They

:48:43.:48:48.

are entrenched, but they do see an opportunity to reach out to the

:48:49.:48:52.

Liberal Democrats and the Green Party to get them onside. Willie

:48:53.:49:01.

Rennie was contributing today. The expectation is that he might be the

:49:02.:49:06.

most likeliest deal maker. Nicola Sturgeon was at pains to say he was

:49:07.:49:10.

seriously negotiating. He said it is not looking good at the moment. I

:49:11.:49:14.

think the Green Party is the more likely deal maker because of this

:49:15.:49:18.

independence issue that permeates everything at the Scottish

:49:19.:49:21.

Parliament. Because they might need them for an independence bill?

:49:22.:49:29.

That's right. They don't want to knock down an SNP government because

:49:30.:49:32.

is the best chance of getting a referendum. Nicola's answer was

:49:33.:49:36.

interesting because she kept stressing that they don't have the

:49:37.:49:45.

largest majority, but they are the biggest party. There were requests

:49:46.:49:52.

for details on spending, but the Green Party want to know about the

:49:53.:49:57.

movement contacts. There may be some reluctance to do that. It is

:49:58.:50:01.

interesting to look at which tax powers the Green Party are looking

:50:02.:50:04.

for. I can't see Derek Mackay making any movement on income tax, but

:50:05.:50:10.

could there be anything with the other taxes? Property taxes and

:50:11.:50:16.

things like that? Or maybe just the upper right bands? They made such a

:50:17.:50:20.

big deal about this being a balanced package during the election. You

:50:21.:50:28.

also have to remember that the penny for Scotland will be a shadow that

:50:29.:50:34.

always hangs over him. They wanted to reverse the penny cut proposed by

:50:35.:50:40.

Gordon Brown? Yes, and they were burned and it will take a lot

:50:41.:50:47.

together again. He will be having a wee word with his successor. What

:50:48.:50:51.

was interesting and it is a running theme is that it is really Nicola

:50:52.:50:55.

that raises the question of independence. That is a good one.

:50:56.:51:02.

She is attacked for it all the time. Willie Rennie accused her of

:51:03.:51:07.

obsessing about it. And then asked about ten questions on it! He spoke

:51:08.:51:11.

about the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament being

:51:12.:51:14.

overshadowed by this independence issue. He is not of the Scottish

:51:15.:51:18.

parliament and he is the one raising it there. Ruth Davidson got into

:51:19.:51:23.

opposition by making it her campaign about saving the union. To be fair,

:51:24.:51:27.

she was saying I don't know what you have been talking about this week,

:51:28.:51:31.

but I've been talking about nursing and education, but she hasn't

:51:32.:51:36.

forgotten independence, has she? No, particularly in the context of

:51:37.:51:41.

Brexit. We hear incremental language from her. She turned to Kezia

:51:42.:51:45.

Dugdale and said that Labour are rolling over on all opposition to

:51:46.:51:49.

Scotland been yanked out of the European market. The Labour leader

:51:50.:51:55.

will be -- the Labour leader was unhappy at that point. We have some

:51:56.:51:59.

breaking news on Brexit. David Mandel the Scottish Secretary has

:52:00.:52:04.

been commenting following talks he had this morning with Mike Russell.

:52:05.:52:07.

There is Mike Russell in the background having a chat there.

:52:08.:52:12.

Anyway, the pair of them were having a talk and David Mandel suggested

:52:13.:52:17.

whether Holyrood should have a say on the Brexit bill, the bill being

:52:18.:52:21.

published today by the UK Government. He says there is no role

:52:22.:52:30.

for Holyrood on that, but there could be a role on the great repeal

:52:31.:52:36.

bill, the bill down the road that would disentangle the UK, including

:52:37.:52:41.

Scotland's involvement with the European Union. While we have been

:52:42.:52:45.

on-air Mr Mondale has been speaking to my colleague Kirsten Campbell.

:52:46.:52:50.

The Scottish Parliament house to determine for itself its processes

:52:51.:52:54.

in terms of legislative concern. I don't believe that a so-called

:52:55.:52:58.

legislative concern motion is required for the notification bill.

:52:59.:53:03.

That's because that bill is just about notifying the EU that we

:53:04.:53:08.

intend to negotiate an exit and that is clearly a reserved matter. Legend

:53:09.:53:14.

Steve consents required when Westminster is legislating on

:53:15.:53:17.

devolved issues that are within the responsibility of the Scottish

:53:18.:53:24.

Parliament. -- legislative consents. When it comes to the great repeal

:53:25.:53:29.

Bill, will that be different? I assume it is a bill that will cover

:53:30.:53:34.

significant areas that impact on the powers of the Scottish parliament

:53:35.:53:38.

and the responsibilities of Scottish ministers. Therefore I would

:53:39.:53:42.

anticipate it will be a bill that requires legislative consent because

:53:43.:53:46.

there will be changes to the powers of this Parliament and the

:53:47.:53:49.

responsibilities of Scottish ministers and we will be looking to

:53:50.:53:52.

go through that motion process in the Parliament when that bill comes

:53:53.:53:57.

forward. What happens if the Scottish parliament withholds its

:53:58.:54:03.

consent? What I have said is that negotiation of our fiscal framework

:54:04.:54:12.

we were told we would not get that consent. I want to be able to

:54:13.:54:15.

persuade Parliament this bill is the right one. It will be delivering for

:54:16.:54:20.

this Parliament additional powers and it will be ensuring that

:54:21.:54:25.

ministers have responsibilities once we leave the EU for matters that are

:54:26.:54:29.

currently dealt with in Brussels. It will also incorporate the body of

:54:30.:54:34.

existing law into our Scots law system. It's something Parliament

:54:35.:54:39.

will want to embrace and I will be spending my time persuading them to

:54:40.:54:44.

do that. Persuasion, persuasion. David Mondale speaking to my

:54:45.:54:48.

colleague Kirsten Campbell. He is talking about a legislative content

:54:49.:54:52.

motion, not on the bill being published today, the build-up begins

:54:53.:55:00.

the process of taking United Kingdom out of the EU, he's talking about

:55:01.:55:04.

the wider bill, the great repeal bill back on pixel the relationships

:55:05.:55:09.

between Scotland, the UK and the European Union. Much of the

:55:10.:55:13.

legislation involved in European discussions is legislation that

:55:14.:55:16.

perhaps potentially would reside here at Holyrood rather than at the

:55:17.:55:22.

UK level. I'm still joined by my two colleagues. What do you make of it.

:55:23.:55:28.

Robbie first. The fact there is no LCM on today's bill, it means that

:55:29.:55:35.

once it goes through, it is sold. That's a key point. When the great

:55:36.:55:39.

repeal Bill comes forward this Parliament will be in Abeid because

:55:40.:55:44.

it won't be able to rock anything by withholding an RCM. This is about

:55:45.:55:49.

repatriating laws from Europe to Westminster. The repeal Bill will

:55:50.:55:58.

stay we need to put in new mechanisms and that will be either

:55:59.:56:05.

the UK or in terms of devolved matters, the Scottish parliament.

:56:06.:56:08.

Where does that put Scottish ministers? Do they want to withhold

:56:09.:56:14.

legislative consents? The key thing here is that it is not the principle

:56:15.:56:19.

that Scotland gets a say on, once the decision has been taken and the

:56:20.:56:24.

clock is ticking on Article 50, it will be too late? That is a good

:56:25.:56:29.

point. The gun is to be head of the ministers here because if they don't

:56:30.:56:33.

sign of the great repeal bill or if it doesn't go through, we will have

:56:34.:56:43.

great laws in -- we will have great holes in our laws. I was surprised

:56:44.:56:47.

that David Mondale went as far as he did. He spoke to the print press

:56:48.:56:52.

earlier and I think he was even stronger in his interview that yes,

:56:53.:57:01.

there will be an LCM. To commit was quite interesting. He is making it

:57:02.:57:10.

as an offer, but the LCM legislative consent is just that. The UK will

:57:11.:57:18.

carry on regardless. The Power does reside there? Yes, and he was asked

:57:19.:57:23.

about the implications if the LCM was not passed and he said it would

:57:24.:57:28.

be significant. Maybe what he means is that maybe not legally

:57:29.:57:31.

significant because as you say it will still be pushed ahead with that

:57:32.:57:35.

bill, but it will be politically significant because we will be in

:57:36.:57:37.

yet another constitutional crisis. The LCM is provided for in the

:57:38.:57:54.

Scotland act. He wanted to appear as if he is making an offer, but they

:57:55.:57:58.

have no real choice but to bring radical changes to Scots law... If

:57:59.:58:05.

by then the European thing looks like going through. It sounds good

:58:06.:58:09.

concession, but identikit tes. By the time this becomes an issue

:58:10.:58:16.

article issue -- becomes an issue, Article 50 would have been

:58:17.:58:21.

triggered. Our option is beginning to vanish? They are, especially of

:58:22.:58:26.

the Theresa May's unit speech when she ruled out membership of the

:58:27.:58:31.

single market. I think people were surprised that Theresa May was that

:58:32.:58:35.

categoric, both in Scotland and the rest of the UK. It pushed Nicola

:58:36.:58:40.

Sturgeon perhaps in a direction that she did want to go to which was to

:58:41.:58:44.

put an independence referendum front and centre of this debate again.

:58:45.:58:50.

Thank you both very much indeed. A good programme there. Great to get

:58:51.:58:57.

Mr Mondale's rence. From me Brian Taylor, goodbye.

:58:58.:59:02.

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