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Scotland Act 1998

Volume 727: debated on Thursday 2 February 2023

4. What recent discussions he has had with Cabinet colleagues on the potential impact of the use of section 35 of the Scotland Act 1998 on the constitution. (903401)

Alas, I am a mere junior Minister and I rarely get to talk to my illustrious Cabinet colleagues, but I can assure the hon. Gentleman that the Government used section 35 very carefully and very reluctantly, in order to preserve the balance of powers between our countries.

If the Government were so determined to resolve their dispute with the Scottish Government, they would publish the amendments that they say would make the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill acceptable to them. Is not the reality that the Tories are prepared to veto and undermine the elected Scottish Parliament because they never really wanted devolution in the first place?

As the hon. Gentleman knows, section 35 of the Scotland Act is part of our constitution. He will also know that it is now for the Scottish Government to bring forward a Bill that addresses the adverse effects set out in the statement of reasons. Once again, the nationalists do not wish to take responsibility.