Scottish Government: Devolved Competences Debate

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Department: Cabinet Office

Scottish Government: Devolved Competences

Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Excerpts
Wednesday 13th March 2024

(4 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Neville-Rolfe Portrait Baroness Neville-Rolfe (Con)
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I agree with the noble Lord. There are well-established arrangements that underpin intergovernmental relationships. They do not always work. They are led by DLUHC, and I believe Brendan Threlfall is the director-general, working under Minister Gove. A recent good example would be the work together on green freeports—where there is overlap —with both the Inverness and Cromarty Firth freeport and the Firth of Forth green freeport. The Scottish Government have also been working on Project Gigabit very well, and the UK Government have contributed £50 million to this. It is important that people understand the devolution settlement and pursue the things that can be helpful on both sides.

Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Portrait Lord Forsyth of Drumlean (Con)
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My Lords, is it not ironic that the noble Lord, Lord Foulkes, is complaining about the arrangements for devolution when it was a Labour Government that put them together? A Labour Government did it thinking that it would kill nationalism stone dead. A Labour Government have resulted in Scotland being the highest taxed part of the United Kingdom, with the threat of people leaving financial services and other professions, reducing the tax base and making it even more difficult to correct the disastrous damage done by the SNP to public services.

Baroness Neville-Rolfe Portrait Baroness Neville-Rolfe (Con)
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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.