Scotland Bill — Concordats — 12 May 1998
(iii) signed by a member of the Scottish Executive, and
(iv) signed by a Minister of the Crown.
(2) In this section "concordat" means any agreement between a Minister of the Crown and the Scottish Executive regarding the consultation arrangements and common United Kingdom guidelines in respect of:--
(a) any reserved matter under Schedule 5,
(b) any devolved matter under section 29(4),
(c) any transfer of ministerial functions under section 49,
(d) any functions exercisable by agreement under section 51,
(e) any shared power under section 52,
(f) any cross-border public body under sections 83, 84 and 85, and
(g) any agency arrangements under section 87.'.-- [Mr. Ancram.]
Brought up, and read the First time.
I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.
This is not the first time we have addressed this issue. We had a lengthy general debate on concordats on 31 March, and I do not intend to rehearse all the arguments made then. The new clause--which I hope to introduce briefly--has been tabled in all seriousness, in an attempt to meet some of the points made during that debate.
As the House knows, my concern about concordats is that they are designed, either intentionally or unintentionally, to avoid the legislative process. Like executive agreements in America, they are designed to avoid scrutiny; the scrutiny of this House. It is evident from the paper on concordats--which the Government most helpfully put in the Library--that they will not come before this House. They will be made public; there is no question of their being confidential unless there are reasons for confidentiality. However, they are informal agreements which will not be legally enforceable, and they will not be subject to the scrutiny of this House or of the Scottish Parliament. I mention the Scottish Parliament because, when I made the point during the last debate-- [Interruption.]
Question put , That the clause be read a Second time:--
The House divided: Ayes 166, Noes 278.
Votes by party, red entries are votes against the majority for that party.
What is Tell? '+1 tell' means that in addition one member of that party was a teller for that division lobby.
What are Boths? An MP can vote both aye and no in the same division. The boths page explains this.
What is Turnout? This is measured against the total membership of the party at the time of the vote.
|Party||Majority (No)||Minority (Aye)||Both||Turnout|
|Con||0||134 (+2 tell)||0||84.0%|
|Lab||277 (+2 tell)||0||0||66.9%|