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Scottish Parliament: Review of Scotland Act 1998

Volume 700: debated on Tuesday 25 March 2008

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

I am pleased to announce today that Professor Sir Kenneth Calman has agreed to serve as chair of a commission to review the Scotland Act. Such a commission was proposed in and approved by the Scottish Parliament. The Government welcome that Parliament’s support for the aim of strengthening devolution, and securing Scotland’s place in the union. We are therefore giving our full support to this cross-border, cross-party review.

The terms of reference for the commission, which have also been approved by the Scottish Parliament, are:

“To review the provisions of the Scotland Act 1998 in the light of experience and to recommend any changes to the present constitutional arrangements that would enable the Scottish Parliament to serve the people of Scotland better, that would improve the financial accountability of the Scottish Parliament and that would continue to secure the position of Scotland within the United Kingdom”.

The Government and the Scottish Parliament will work together to provide support for the commission, which will be asked to make an interim report by the end of this year. Its report will be submitted to both the Government and the Scottish Parliament.

I hope that there will be full engagement by people in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK with this review, which will provide an opportunity to assess the successes of devolution to Scotland, and identify ways in which the devolution settlement can be developed to work better for the people of Scotland within the United Kingdom.

The other members involved in the commission will be announced in due course.