Scottish Government: Devolved Competences Debate

Full Debate: Read Full Debate
Department: Cabinet Office

Scottish Government: Devolved Competences

Baroness Chapman of Darlington Excerpts
Wednesday 13th March 2024

(4 months, 2 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber
Read Full debate Read Hansard Text Watch Debate Read Debate Ministerial Extracts
Baroness Neville-Rolfe Portrait Baroness Neville-Rolfe (Con)
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I can only agree with my noble friend, but I think it is a matter for Scottish taxpayers. I look forward with interest to the coming months and years. We need to try to work well together and be clear about the rules, but they were perhaps not perfect at the start.

Baroness Chapman of Darlington Portrait Baroness Chapman of Darlington (Lab)
- View Speech - Hansard - -

My Lords, of course the Minister is right that it will be the people of Scotland who have the final say on the performance of the Scottish Government and their choice of priorities, and they will have the final say on the Government here in Westminster, too. But does the Minister understand that there has been—how can I put this?—something of a failure to respect devolved Administrations at various times by this Government? Does she also accept that the current system of joint ministerial committees has struggled to be as effective as it should be because of that, and that is one of the reasons that we have got to where we have with this issue?

Baroness Neville-Rolfe Portrait Baroness Neville-Rolfe (Con)
- View Speech - Hansard - - - Excerpts

I actually think that the joint committees are important and give a sort of discipline to business. Where I am with the noble Baroness is that it is actually important, on specific bits of policy, to work together with the devolved Administrations. Certainly, in the areas that I deal with, I really try to do that—with things like borders, for example; the country is borderless, so it is very important. We can always do better, but there are differences of view, and sometimes that complexity makes it hard, such as with statistics, which I was giving evidence on yesterday.