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Chamber and committees

Question reference: S6W-03797

  • Asked by: Richard Leonard, MSP for Central Scotland, Scottish Labour
  • Date lodged: 15 October 2021 Registered interest
  • Current status: Answered by Ivan McKee on 4 November 2021


To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S6W-02134 by Ivan McKee on 7 September 2021, whether it will provide an update on its review of the UK Government’s Subsidy Control Bill and its impact on public contracts for (a) rail and (b) ferry services in Scotland, and which external organisations it has consulted as part of that review.


The process of reviewing the UK Government’s Subsidy Control Bill is ongoing. This is at a relatively high level while we await sight of proposed supporting subordinate legislation and guidance which may impact on specific sectors, such as rail and ferries.

I gave evidence on 26 October to the House of Commons Committee considering the Bill, making clear Scottish Government concerns that the Bill as drafted impinges on the Devolution Settlement. I continue to press UK Minister Paul Scully on our concerns about the Bill and its progress.

External organisations have not yet been approached at this stage but this will likely form part of the process moving forward.

In the meantime, compliance with applicable Subsidy Control rules is an important part of our considerations on rail contracts and will form part of any consideration around new options that may be available for procurement of ferry services and/or impact on ferry fares policy.