United Kingdom: Union - Motion to Take Note

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords am 1:33 pm ar 14 Mawrth 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Lord Kerr of Kinlochard Lord Kerr of Kinlochard Crossbench 1:33, 14 Mawrth 2024

I agree with the noble and learned Lord. My point can be put much more succinctly. I warmly welcome the Minister and look forward to his remarks, and would be grateful if he could convey to the Leader of the House the point that I am about to make.

As a Scottish unionist, I believe that our debates in this Chamber would be much improved if the SNP took part. I would also, of course, like to hear from Sinn Féin, but I know how unrealistic that is. However, the SNP is in the other place and makes an important contribution there; its objections to being here must therefore be of a different nature from Sinn Féin’s and are possibly less adamantine.

A dozen years ago, a group of us from all sides of the House wrote to the then Prime Minister suggesting that this issue should be raised with the First Minister in Edinburgh. The then Prime Minister decided not to pursue that initiative, and it might have gone nowhere, though in fact the pitch had been very well rolled in Edinburgh. I think, with the changes of personnel in London and Edinburgh, it would be worth trying again, and I ask the Minister to consult the Leader of the House and consider whether, on a cross-party basis, the suggestion might be revived.