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Debates and questions

Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee 12 March 2019

The agenda for the day:

Decision on Taking Business in Private, European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018: Instrument Category, Instruments subject to Affirmative Procedure, Instruments subject to Negative Procedure, Instrument not subject to Parliamentary Procedure, Management of Offenders (Scotland) Bill: After Stage 1.

Decision on Taking Business in Private

Decision on Taking Business in Private

The Convener (Graham Simpson)

I welcome everyone to the ninth meeting in 2019 of the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee.

Under agenda item 1, it is proposed that the committee takes item 7, which is on our work programme, in private. Does the committee agree to do so?

Members indicated agreement.

European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018: Instrument Category

European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018: Instrument Category
Forestry (EU Exit) (Scotland) (Amendment etc) Regulations 2019 [Draft]

The Convener

Agenda item 2 is consideration of an instrument that has been laid under the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018; we are looking at the instrument under the Scottish statutory instrument protocol. It has been laid under the affirmative procedure, as is required by the 2018 act, so we are considering only the categorisation that the Government has recommended. Our advisers indicate that the low categorisation could be appropriate.

Is the committee content that the instrument has been appropriately categorised as being of low significance?

Members indicated agreement.

Instruments subject to Affirmative Procedure

Instruments subject to Affirmative Procedure
Scotland Act 1998 (Transfer of Functions to the Scottish Ministers etc) Order 2019 [Draft]

The Convener

The first instrument for consideration under agenda item 3 relates to the assessment of the environmental impact of electricity generating stations situated in the Scottish part of the renewable energy zone. As a Scotland Act 1998 order, it is also being considered in each house at Westminster.

The order contains a minor drafting error relating to the citation of the Scotland Act 1998. Full details can be found in our correspondence with the Government, which is included in our published papers. It appears that there is currently no need to correct the minor error, but if the order requires to be amended at a later date, the Scottish Government has undertaken to work with the United Kingdom Government to adjust the provision.

Does the committee wish to draw the order to the attention of the Parliament under the general reporting ground, as it contains a minor drafting error in article 4(1)?

Members indicated agreement.

The Convener

There are a further two draft affirmative instruments on our agenda, and we must undertake the technical scrutiny of the forestry regulations that we looked at under item 2.

Motor Sport on Public Roads (Scotland) Regulations 2019 [Draft]

Plant Health (EU Exit) (Scotland) (Amendment etc) Regulations 2019 [Draft]

Forestry (EU Exit) (Scotland) (Amendment etc) Regulations 2019 [Draft]

The Convener

No points have been raised by our advisers on the instruments, but it is worth highlighting that the forestry regulations and the plant health regulations have been relaid by the Scottish Government to correct a couple of errors.

Is the committee content with the instruments?

Members indicated agreement.

Instruments subject to Negative Procedure

Instruments subject to Negative Procedure
Seed and Propagating Material (EU Exit) (Scotland) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (SSI 2019/59)

The Convener

The first instrument for consideration under agenda item 4 amends a number of marketing regulations for seed and plant propagating materials. It contains errors relating to the definition of a European Union regulation, a reference to an EU directive and a redundant provision. The full detail of the issues identified by our legal advisers can be found in our correspondence with the Government, which is included in our published papers.

Does the committee wish to draw the instrument to the attention of the Parliament under reporting ground (h), on the basis that regulation 9(2)(a)(ix) contains an unnecessary definition of regulation EC 1829/2003?

Members indicated agreement.

The Convener

Does the committee wish to draw the instrument to the attention of the Parliament on the general reporting ground in respect of the issues that are identified in the papers in regulations 13(5)(c) and (d) and 16(7)(a)?

Members indicated agreement.

The Convener

Does the committee wish to welcome the Government’s undertaking to rectify the errors in regulations 9 and 16 at the next available opportunity?

Members indicated agreement.

The Convener

Does the committee wish to call on the Government to use that opportunity to also amend the error referred to in regulation 13?

Members indicated agreement.

The Convener

Furthermore, part 3 of the instrument inserts provisions into a number of the marketing regulations for seed and plant propagating material that refer to

“legislation recognised by the Scottish Ministers to have equivalent effect”

to various regulations. Does the committee wish to welcome the Government’s intention in due course to amend the relevant marketing regulations to insert appropriate references to any specific legislation that is recognised as being equivalent?

Members indicated agreement.

Education (Fees and Student Support) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (EU Exit) (Scotland) Regulations 2019 (SSI 2019/70)

The Convener

The regulations contain drafting errors relating to references to provisions that do not exist. The Scottish Government has undertaken to correct the references at the next legislative opportunity. Again, full details can be found in our correspondence with the Government, which is included in our published papers.

Does the committee wish to draw the regulations to the attention of the Parliament on the general reporting ground, as there are drafting errors in regulation 9(2)?

Members indicated agreement.

Agriculture Market Measures (EU Exit) (Scotland) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (SSI 2019/73)

The Convener

The instrument appears to be defectively drafted, as it removes an offence provision, which is contrary to the Scottish Government’s intention. The Government has undertaken to make an amending instrument by the end of this month, so that the errors do not have any effect. Again, full details can be found in our correspondence with the Government, which is included in our published papers.

Does the committee wish to draw the instrument to the attention of the Parliament on reporting ground (i), as regulation 5(3) appears to be defectively drafted?

Members indicated agreement.

The Convener

There are a further four negative instruments on our agenda, on which no points have been raised by our advisers.

Animal Health (EU Exit) (Scotland) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 (SSI 2019/71)

Act of Sederunt (Taxation of Judicial Expenses Rules) 2019 (SSI 2019/75)

Non-Domestic Rating (Valuation of Utilities) (Scotland) Amendment (No 2) Order 2019 (SSI 2019/77)

Legal Aid and Advice and Assistance (Scotland) (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 (SSI 2019/78)

The Convener

Is the committee content with the instruments?

Members indicated agreement.

Instrument not subject to Parliamentary Procedure

Instrument not subject to Parliamentary Procedure
Act of Sederunt (Rules of the Court of Session 1994 Amendment) (Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering) 2019 (SSI 2019/72)

The Convener

Agenda item 5 is consideration of an instrument that is not subject to parliamentary procedure, on which no points have been raised by our advisers.

Is the committee content with the instrument?

Members indicated agreement.

Management of Offenders (Scotland) Bill: After Stage 1

Management of Offenders (Scotland) Bill: After Stage 1

The Convener

Agenda item 6 is consideration of the Government’s response to our stage 1 report on the Management of Offenders (Scotland) Bill.

Does the committee wish to note the Government’s response?

Members indicated agreement.

10:07 Meeting continued in private until 10:19.