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Government: Legislative Programme for Scotland

Volume 687: debated on Thursday 16 November 2006

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Scotland (Douglas Alexander) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The new UK legislative programme unveiled in the Queen's Speech on 15 November contains significant measures of relevance and benefit to the people of Scotland.

The programme demonstrates the continuing partnership between the United Kingdom and Scottish Parliaments and the Government and Scottish Executive.

The Government are committed to maintaining these close working partnerships as they continue to deliver improvements to the lives of people across Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom.

The following is a summary of the legislation announced in the Queen's Speech and its impact in Scotland. This does not include draft Bills. The Bills listed in Section 1 are likely to contain provisions that require the consent of the Scottish Parliament in line with the Sewel convention. A brief description is provided of the provisions likely to require consent. Section 2 details Bills that are not likely to contain provisions requiring the consent of the Scottish Parliament as the legislation is predominantly or wholly within a reserved area or has limited impact in Scotland. The list also identifies the lead government department:

Legislation likely to contain provisions requiring the consent of the Scottish Parliament at introduction.

Discussions will continue between the Government and the Scottish Executive on such Bills that might include provisions in devolved areas. The Bills identified within the Queen's Speech in this section are as follows:

Child Support Bill (Department for Work and Pensions): mainly reserved but may include provisions in devolved areas relating to the jurisdiction of courts and the joint registration of births (births jointly registered by both parents).

Climate Change Bill (Office of Climate Change): legislation relating to climate change is likely to include provisions in devolved areas to meet a new emissions target. The environment is a devolved matter in Scotland.

Consumers, Estate Agents and Redress Bill (Department of Trade and Industry): consumer protection is reserved but the legislation will include provisions creating a new National Consumer Council and Scottish equivalent with responsibilities including food safety, which is devolved.

Further education and training (Department for Education and Skills): education is devolved but the Bill will include provisions that give Scottish Ministers functions to make arrangements directly with the Learning and Skills Council for England in relation to career development loans and shared provision of services, i.e. procurement of goods and services and the development of information technology systems.

Serious organised crime (Home Office): likely to include provisions in reserved and devolved areas, including recognition of prevention orders and proceeds of crime, which are devolved matters.

Statistics and Registration Services Bill (Her Majesty's Treasury): the new statistics board’s remit will extend fully across the whole of the UK. Statistics that relate to a devolved matter are considered to fall within the competence of the Scottish Parliament and will also benefit from the reforms and functions of the board.

Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Bill (Department for Constitutional Affairs): this Bill will include provisions relating to the tribunals in Scotland, which are devolved. It also legislates on the devolved matter of immunity from seizure of cultural artefacts.

Legislation unlikely to contain provisions requiring the consent of the Scottish Parliament at introduction.

The Bills in this section, which deal with predominantly or wholly reserved matters and matters which do not impact in Scotland, are as follows:

Border and immigration (Home Office)

Concessionary Bus Travel Bill (Department for Transport)

Criminal Justice Bill (Home Office)

Fraud (Trials without a Jury) Bill (Home Office)

Greater London Authority Bill (Department for Communities and Local Government)

House of Lords reform (Leader of the House of Commons)

Justice and Security (Northern Ireland) Bill (Northern Ireland Office)

Local Government Bill (Department for Communities and Local Government)

Mental Health Bill (Department of Health)

Northern Ireland Bill (Northern Ireland Office)

Offender Management Bill (Home Office)

Pensions Bill (Department for Work and Pensions)

Welfare Reform Bill (Department for Work and Pensions)