Clause 50 - Power to change or clarify existing traffic legislation

Part of Automated Vehicles Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee am 11:15 am ar 19 Mawrth 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Gavin Newlands Gavin Newlands Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Transport) 11:15, 19 Mawrth 2024

It is safe to say, Mr Vickers, that I was not expecting us to get to clause 50—[Laughter.] Luckily, I have a speech that I prepared earlier. The Cabinet Secretary for Transport in the Scottish Government and the operations manager of Transport Scotland are giving evidence on this very issue in the Scottish Parliament this morning. If I can pad this out until 11.25 am, I will be able to bring some quotes to the Committee before we leave our deliberations on the amendments and clause 50.

I rise to speak to amendments 9, 7 and 8 in my name and those of my colleagues in Plaid Cymru. As I mentioned on Second Reading and briefly at the start of the sitting —it is very unusual for me or anyone else from the SNP to stand up during the deliberations on any Bill to say this—the devolved Administrations have for the most part worked happily with the UK Government on getting this Bill right for everyone across these isles, in line with the co-operative working between the Scottish Law Commission and the Law Commission of England and Wales over the past couple of years. So it is disappointing, to say the least, that the UK Government appear to have ditched that view when drafting clause 50.

The devolved powers that are properly the preserve of the Scottish Parliament are quite clear, yet this clause would unilaterally overturn that settled state and instead place the Scottish Parliament and Government under the auspices of the Secretary of State for Transport and his or her colleagues. Since devolution and the reconvening of the Scottish Parliament in 1999, it has been agreed among all parties that consent is required from Holyrood when the UK Government seek to legislate in devolved areas.