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Chamber and committees

Meeting of the Parliament

Meeting date: Thursday, March 16, 2023


Procurement Bill

The Presiding Officer (Alison Johnstone)

The next item of business is consideration of legislative consent motion S6M-08217, in the name of Ivan McKee, on the Procurement Bill.

I call Ivan McKee to speak to and move the motion.


The Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise (Ivan McKee)

The motion that is before us would give consent to some provisions within the United Kingdom Procurement Bill that touch on devolved competence, but not to others. We have worked with the UK Government to agree a solution to some of the significant practical issues that the bill might otherwise have caused. We have an agreement that will provide for continued cross-border co-operation on procurement exercises, and that will be achieved by conferring delegated powers appropriately on UK and Scottish ministers.

However, we have not been able to reach agreement on powers in the bill that relate to implementation of trade agreements. The bill confers powers on UK ministers that would allow them to legislate in the devolved area of procurement to implement new agreements and to implement the outcome of trade disputes, without the consent of Scottish ministers. That is an unacceptable and disappointing attitude to devolution and to this Parliament—although perhaps it is not surprising—so the motion does not seek consent for those provisions.

I move,

That the Parliament agrees that the relevant provisions in clause 114 and related provisions concerning cross-border procurement, as amended by government amendments lodged on 24 January 2023, of the Procurement Bill, introduced in the House of Lords on 11 May 2022, and in clauses 2 and 125 of the Procurement Bill, and related provisions concerning scope and extent, so far as these matters fall within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament and alter the executive competence of the Scottish Ministers, should be considered by the UK Parliament.

The question on the motion will be put at decision time.