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Chamber and committees

Meeting of the Parliament

Meeting date: Thursday, June 16, 2022

Agenda: General Question Time, First Minister’s Question Time, Men’s Sheds, Point of Order, Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body Question Time, Portfolio Question Time, Role of Incineration in Waste Hierarchy, Miners’ Strike (Pardons) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3, Miners’ Strike (Pardons) (Scotland) Bill, Point of Order, Decision Time


Point of Order

Stephen Kerr (Central Scotland) (Con)

On a point of order, Presiding Officer. On Tuesday this week, the Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, External Affairs and Culture was asked in the chamber by my colleague Oliver Mundell what the proposed date would be for the cabinet secretary’s party’s illegal “Scexit” referendum. He declined to give a specific answer, even though he knew full well that he was proposing to hold it in October 2023, as he revealed in a media interview the next day—in fact, on “Good Morning Scotland” on BBC Radio Scotland.

Presiding Officer, I have lost count of the number of times that you have asked the Scottish Government to make significant announcements to the Parliament, in the first instance, and not to the media. Despite the Minister for Parliamentary Business’s conclusion that Tuesday’s last-minute referendum announcement was not significant, it contained a very significant policy announcement. Indeed, the Scottish Government has made it its normal practice to wilfully ignore Parliament and to choose instead to run the country through media appearances and spin.

Presiding Officer, do you view that as being in order? If not, what can we do, as parliamentarians, to heighten scrutiny of a Government that does not even attempt to disguise the disrespect and disregard that it has for the Scottish Parliament?

The Deputy Presiding Officer (Annabelle Ewing)

I thank Stephen Kerr for his point of order.

It is the case that announcements on important matters should be made to the Parliament before they are released to the media. The intended date of a referendum is, of course, a matter that is of interest to Parliament.

Members will be aware that the First Minister has indicated that she will provide an update to Parliament before recess. I hope that no further information appears elsewhere before that update is provided.