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Scotland: Constitutional Commission

Volume 698: debated on Thursday 31 January 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What are the terms of reference of the Scottish constitutional commission announced by the Secretary of State for Scotland, Des Browne, on 15 January; and [HL1417]

Whether the terms of reference of the Scottish constitutional commission announced by the Secretary of State for Scotland, Des Browne, on 15 January will allow it to consider and report on the merits of political independence for Scotland's residents; and [HL1418]

Whether the recently announced Scottish constitutional commission will be receiving state funding; and, if so, from which department. [HL1464]

As part of the Ministry of Justice's ongoing consultation on constitutional issues, the Government have received representations and comments concerning the relationship between Scotland and the United Kingdom.

The Scottish Parliament has recently approved a review process aimed at strengthening devolution and securing Scotland's place in the Union. This reflects overwhelming public support for the Union in Scotland. The Government welcome the Scottish Parliament's support in this aim and welcome the review.

In the light of the terms of reference of that review, the Chancellor of the Exchequer will lay before Parliament a factual paper on the funding mechanisms for the devolved administrations.

The Government are considering how best to take forward these discussions on the review and the Secretary of State for Scotland will bring forward proposals after consultation with other political parties.