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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Meeting of the Parliament 26 September 2018

Agenda: Portfolio Question Time, Common Agricultural Policy, Social Security, Human Rights Defenders (Support and Protection), Business Motion, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, European Atomic Energy Community (Impacts of Leaving)


Contents


Business Motion

The Presiding Officer (Ken Macintosh)

The next item is consideration of business motion S5M-14087, in the name of Graeme Dey, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, setting out a business programme.

Motion moved,

That the Parliament agrees—

(a) the following programme of business—

Tuesday 2 October 2018

2.00 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Motion of Condolence: Sir Alex Fergusson

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Topical Questions (if selected)

followed by Scottish Government Debate: Building a Social Security System Together: Co-designing the Social Security Charter

followed by Business Motions

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Wednesday 3 October 2018

2.00 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

2.00 pm Portfolio Questions:
Education and Skills

followed by Ministerial Statement: Health and Care Update  

followed by Justice Committee Debate: Remand

followed by Business Motions

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Thursday 4 October 2018

11.40 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

11.40 am General Questions

12.00 pm First Minister's Questions

followed by Members’ Business

2.30 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

2.30 pm Scottish Government Debate: Women and Girls in Sport Week

followed by Business Motions

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

Tuesday 23 October 2018

2.00 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Topical Questions (if selected)

followed by Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee Debate: Making Scotland a Screen Leader, Report Examining the Scottish Screen Sector

followed by Business Motions

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Wednesday 24 October 2018

2.00 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

2.00 pm Portfolio Questions:
Health and Sport

followed by Scottish Labour Party Business

followed by Business Motions

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Thursday 25 October 2018

11.40 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

11.40 am General Questions

12.00 pm First Minister's Questions

followed by Members’ Business

2.30 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

2.30 pm Scottish Government Business

followed by Business Motions

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

(b) that, in relation to any debate on a business motion setting out a business programme taken on Wednesday 3 October, the second sentence of rule 8.11.3 is suspended and replaced with “Any Member may speak on the motion at the discretion of the Presiding Officer”

and (c) that, in relation to First Minister’s Questions on 4 October 2018, in rule 13.6.2, insert at end “and may provide an opportunity for Party Leaders or their representatives to question the First Minister”.—[Graeme Dey]

The Presiding Officer

Members will recall that the Parliament has agreed to vary the rule on business motions to allow any member to speak on the motion, at my discretion. In this case, I call Ross Greer.

17:01  

Ross Greer (West Scotland) (Green)

I do not wish to speak in opposition to the business motion, but I wish to use the new procedure allowing members to comment before it is agreed.

Over recent weeks, the Greens have been pressing the Scottish Government to hold a debate on the recent eviction threats against asylum seekers in Glasgow. Members across the Parliament will be aware of the situation and the wave of anger that it has provoked. Hundreds of asylum seekers, many of whom have a very real chance of pursuing an appeal, were faced with the threat of arbitrary evictions and lock-outs by the United Kingdom Government’s private contractor, Serco.

That was not merely the result of a private, profit-driven landlord deciding to pursue its own self-interest by kicking vulnerable people out on to the street. It was also the result of despicable UK Government approaches to asylum policy, under which destitution is not an unfortunate side-effect but a deliberate policy choice. It is worth restating that: it is the deliberate use of destitution as a weapon of public policy.

There will be those who remind us that asylum is a reserved issue. That, of course, ignores the fact that the cross-party Smith commission called for further work to explore new asylum arrangements for Scotland—something that the UK Government has refused to do. More to the point, it ignores the fact that housing, education, healthcare and other services critical to the wellbeing of asylum seekers are very much devolved. These are our constituents. Almost every one of us represents asylum seekers, from Baillieston to Bute.

We have been seeking a debate on the situation and on the potential crisis that is still threatened. I know that the Government is deeply concerned about the issue, and I understand the reasons for not yet setting a date, as there is still some uncertainty about legal proceedings, but it is important that we do not let the matter slide indefinitely. I hope that the Government can give a commitment tonight that a debate about this serious situation will be brought forward in the near future, and that this Parliament will not allow the prospect of a new crisis of destitution in Scotland to pass unremarked.

The Presiding Officer

I thank Mr Greer and Patrick Harvie for giving advance notice of the point that they wished to raise. I call Graeme Dey to respond on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau.

17:02  

The Minister for Parliamentary Business and Veterans (Graeme Dey)

As Mr Greer is aware, the Scottish Government is keen to have a parliamentary debate on asylum, given the range of current concerns around asylum accommodation and dispersal. We are aware that the main issue on everyone’s mind at the moment is the planned eviction of people at the end of the asylum process from their asylum accommodation in Glasgow. As Mr Greer has noted, the matter is the subject of on-going legal proceedings in the Court of Session and the evictions have been paused, pending the outcome of the court case. However, subject to discussions with you, Presiding Officer, in relation to sub judice considerations around the on-going legal proceedings, and, of course, with the agreement of the Parliamentary Bureau, we are happy to commit to bringing forward a debate following the October recess.

The Presiding Officer

The question is, that motion S5M-14087 be agreed to.

Motion agreed to,

That the Parliament agrees—

(a) the following programme of business—

Tuesday 2 October 2018

2.00 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Motion of Condolence: Sir Alex Fergusson

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Topical Questions (if selected)

followed by Scottish Government Debate: Building a Social Security System Together: Co-designing the Social Security Charter

followed by Business Motions

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Wednesday 3 October 2018

2.00 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

2.00 pm Portfolio Questions:
Education and Skills

followed by Ministerial Statement: Health and Care Update  

followed by Justice Committee Debate: Remand

followed by Business Motions

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Thursday 4 October 2018

11.40 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

11.40 am General Questions

12.00 pm First Minister's Questions

followed by Members’ Business

2.30 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

2.30 pm Scottish Government Debate: Women and Girls in Sport Week

followed by Business Motions

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

Tuesday 23 October 2018

2.00 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Topical Questions (if selected)

followed by Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee Debate: Making Scotland a Screen Leader, Report Examining the Scottish Screen Sector

followed by Business Motions

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Wednesday 24 October 2018

2.00 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

2.00 pm Portfolio Questions:
Health and Sport

followed by Scottish Labour Party Business

followed by Business Motions

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business

Thursday 25 October 2018

11.40 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

11.40 am General Questions

12.00 pm First Minister's Questions

followed by Members’ Business

2.30 pm Parliamentary Bureau Motions

2.30 pm Scottish Government Business

followed by Business Motions

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

(b) that, in relation to any debate on a business motion setting out a business programme taken on Wednesday 3 October, the second sentence of rule 8.11.3 is suspended and replaced with “Any Member may speak on the motion at the discretion of the Presiding Officer”

and (c) that, in relation to First Minister’s Questions on 4 October 2018, in rule 13.6.2, insert at end “and may provide an opportunity for Party Leaders or their representatives to question the First Minister”.