Scottish Government: Devolved Competences Debate

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Department: Cabinet Office

Scottish Government: Devolved Competences

Lord Wigley Excerpts
Wednesday 13th March 2024

(4 months, 2 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber
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Baroness Neville-Rolfe Portrait Baroness Neville-Rolfe (Con)
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I have no idea about the costs of those endeavours. However, I have no doubt that Scottish taxpayers will reflect on whether they were a good use of funds and whether the Government in Scotland should not be concentrating on the things that they are responsible for: health, education, social care and other matters.

Lord Wigley Portrait Lord Wigley (PC)
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My Lords, far be it for me to intervene on the internal squabbles of our Scottish cousins, but would the Minister not accept that there are many aspects of policy that are devolved, including cultural and economic matters, where there may be an overlap between the devolved powers in Scotland—or in Cardiff for that matter—with UK powers? What is important is that there is good communication and there is a respect from each end on such questions. When such matters arise, London, as much as Cardiff or Edinburgh, should inform the other about their interests and work in harmony to get the best for Scotland, Wales or wherever.

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.