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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 26 May 2021

Agenda: Business Motion, Topical Question Time, Scottish Government Priorities, Urgent Question, Point of Order, Business Motion, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time


Parliamentary Bureau Motions

The next item of business is consideration of two Parliamentary Bureau motions. I ask George Adam, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, to move motions S6M-00125 on parliamentary recess dates, and S6M-00126 on the office of the clerk.

Motions moved,

That the Parliament agrees the following parliamentary recess dates under Rule 2.3.1: 26 June to 29 August 2021 (inclusive), 9 to 24 October 2021 (inclusive), 24 December 2021 to 9 January 2022 (inclusive).

That the Parliament agrees that, between 1 June 2021 and 31 January 2022, the Office of the Clerk will be open on all days except: Saturdays and Sundays, 17 September, 26 November, 24 December (pm), 27 and 28 December 2021, and 3 and 4 January 2022.—[George Adam]

The next item of business is consideration of motion S6M-00128, on approval of a Scottish statutory instrument. I ask John Swinney, on behalf of the Scottish Government, to speak to and move the motion.


The regulations will amend the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Local Levels) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 to remove a number of restrictions in level 4 on socialising, sport and exercise, to provide individuals with greater opportunities for social, recreational and sporting activity outdoors. Although no area in Scotland is currently in level 4, we need to ensure that the measures remain appropriate if we require to deal with an outbreak in future.

The regulations, which came into force on 12 March and 15 March 2021, also permitted activity for election purposes ahead of the Scottish Parliament election. Although those regulations have not been to committee for formal consideration and approval in advance of this vote, the Government shared draft regulations with the Covid-19 Committee on 10 March for the committee’s informal consideration at its session with Mr Russell on the morning of 11 March 2021. No concerns were raised at that session.

We are committed to taking the necessary steps to control the pandemic and to lifting restrictions as soon as they are no longer necessary or proportionate, which sometimes requires swift action. We are also committed to ensuring effective parliamentary scrutiny of our decisions.

Inevitably, parliamentary scrutiny was more difficult, and sometimes impossible, in the run-up to the election. Throughout the pre-election recess, it was necessary to continue making coronavirus regulations. The Covid-19 Committee was permitted to meet during that period if required, but chose not to do so. Now that the Parliament is sitting again and we look forward to the establishment of committees, we will ensure that a process is agreed with Parliament for ensuring effective scrutiny of these regulations.

I move,

That the Parliament agrees that the Health Protection (Coronavirus) (Restrictions and Requirements) (Local Levels) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 17) Regulations 2021 (SSI 2021/136) be approved.

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