Scotland Bill committee stage day three

28 February 2012

The Scotland Bill continues its committee stage in the House of Lords today (Tuesday 28 February), receiving further line by line scrutiny by members.

The third day of examination will start with amendments to Clause 22 which discuss the appointment of a Scottish Crown Estate Commissioner.

Following amendments look at driving offences and changes to the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, giving Scottish ministers the power to set the Scottish national speed limit.

Lords will then turn their attention to financial matters in Part Three of the bill, discussing changes which could devolve powers and set a Scottish rate of income tax.

Catch up on committee day two (Thursday 2 February)

The second committee day's discussions started with amendments to Clause 11 which gives 'legislative competence to the Scottish Parliament in relation to the regulation of air weapons'.

Lord Browne of Ladyton (Labour) moved Amendment 18 'to remove the exception that the Government make to the devolution of powers to license air weapons in the case of those weapons designated as "specially dangerous" by the Secretary of State'.

The Advocate-General for Scotland, Lord Wallace of Tankerness (Liberal Democrat), brought the Calman Commission to the table which states that firearms as a whole should not be devolved. He responded: 'The issue turns on the way in which the Firearms Acts are drafted and the need to ensure that all specially dangerous weapons are dealt with on a consistent basis across the United Kingdom.'

Lord Browne withdrew the amendment and will study the government response. He is likely to raise the issue again at the next stage (report stage).

Following amendments focused on the Scottish Parliament's role in insolvency procedures and whether 'the UK Insolvency Service be responsible for laying down the rules to be applied by insolvency practitioners on both sides of the border'. A debate on whether Clause 12 should stand part of the bill was agreed.

Lords went on to debate sections of the bill dealing with health professional regulation, student fee variation and the appointment of a BBC Trust member for Scotland.

Catch up on committee stage day one

The previous stage (Second Reading) took place on 6 December 2011.

What is the committee stage?

During committee stage, detailed line-by-line examination of separate clauses and schedules of the bill takes place. Any member of the Lords can take part. It can last for one or two days to eight or more. This stage usually starts no fewer than two weeks after the second reading.

The day before committee stage starts, amendments (proposals for change) are published in order in a Marshalled List. Amendments on related subjects are grouped together and a 'groupings of amendments' is published on the day. Lords must agree to every clause of the bill and vote on the amendments. All proposed amendments can be discussed and there is no time limit for discussion.

After the committee stage, the bill is reprinted with all the agreed amendments and is moved to report stage for further examination.

Next stage: report stage

Report stage in the chamber gives all members of the Lords further opportunity to consider all amendments (proposals for change) to a bill. It usually starts at least 14 days after committee stage. It can be spread over several days (but usually fewer days than at committee stage).

Before report stage takes place

  • The day before report stage starts, amendments are published in a Marshalled List – in which all the amendments are placed in order.
  • On the day, amendments on related subjects are grouped together and a list (groupings of amendments) is published.

What happens at report stage?

  • Detailed line by line examination of the bill continues.
  • Votes can take place and any member can take part.

Further information

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