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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Thursday, April 20, 2017

Meeting of the Parliament 20 April 2017

Agenda: General Question Time, First Minister’s Question Time, International Workers Memorial Day, Defence Basing Reforms, Standing Orders Rule Changes (Supermajorities), Business Motion, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, Points of Order, Correction


Contents


Standing Orders Rule Changes (Supermajorities)

The Presiding Officer (Ken Macintosh)

The next item of business is consideration of motion S5M-05176, in the name of Clare Adamson, on behalf of the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee, on standing order rule changes for supermajorities.

17:00  

Clare Adamson (Motherwell and Wishaw) (SNP)

Under the Scotland Act 2016, there will be a new supermajority requirement for legislation on certain subjects relating to Scottish Parliament elections. Those include the number of members of the Scottish Parliament, the electoral system and who can vote in Scottish Parliament elections. Any bill on those subjects will require a two-thirds majority of MSPs in order to be passed by the Parliament.

The Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee has considered how to translate those requirements into standing orders. Today, we propose some changes to the rules. Our report sets out the details of those changes. They include a new requirement for the Presiding Officer to make a statement about whether a bill requires a supermajority to be passed; a requirement for Parliament to vote on every bill after the conclusion of the stage 3 debate in order formally to record the result; and a procedure for what happens if the Supreme Court disagrees with the Presiding Officer’s decision on a supermajority question. Once the new standing orders are in place, the new powers over Scottish Parliament elections can be commenced and transferred.

I move,

That the Parliament notes the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee’s 4th Report, 2017 (Session 5), Scotland Act 2016—Standing Order rule changes (SP Paper 115), and agrees that the changes to Standing Orders set out in Annexe A of the report be made with effect from the day on which section 11 of the Scotland Act 2016 comes into force.

The Presiding Officer

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