Scotland Bill committee stage day three

29 February 2012

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

The debate began with a group of amendments to Clause 22, asking for clarification on the appointment processes of the Scottish Crown Estate Commissioner. Lord Selkirk of Douglas (Conservative) explained the extent of the role: 'The actual crown estate is very considerable in Scotland, and has many responsibilities for farms, forests and estates, some of which have many sites of special scientific interest.'

Lord Browne of Ladyton (Labour) put forward Amendment 44B and referred to 'inconsistencies' in the bill. 'I recognise that in itself this is a minor change to the bill, but it raises a wider point about the consistency of the new roles for Scotland that are created by this bill,' he said.

Driving offences and the role of the Highway Code came under the spotlight in following amendments (47 and 50). The Duke of Montrose (Conservative)addressed the devolution of powers on drink driving. 'The reason for my amendment is that any regulations made by Scottish ministers with regard to drink driving limits should be made known to any person submitting himself to a test of competence to drive,' he explained.

Lords also discussed changes relating to the Road Traffic Regulation Act and the prospect of giving Scottish ministers the power to set the Scottish national speed limit.

The House resumed after Amendment 52, with a debate on whether Clause 29, relating to the Commissioners for Revenue and Customs, should remain part of the bill.  

Catch up on committee day two (Thursday 2 February)

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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