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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Legislative Consent Refused on UK Subsidy Control Bill

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The Scottish Parliament has backed the Scottish Government’s call to refuse legislative consent on the UK Government’s Subsidy Control Bill.

Business Minister Ivan McKee says the legislation, which replaces State Aid Rules lost as a result of the UK’s exit from the European Union, undermines devolution as there is no requirement to consult Scottish Ministers.

Mr McKee says this will limit the ability of the Scottish Parliament to scrutinise actions taken by UK Government and the Scottish Government to support businesses in a way that reflects the specific needs of the Scottish economy.

The Bill will implement permanent parameters around how public authorities, including Government, are able to provide subsidy payment to individuals or firms.

Speaking in the Scottish Parliament earlier today, Business Minister Ivan McKee said:

“We are disappointed with the UK Government’s decision to press ahead with the UK Subsidy Control Bill which in its current form overrides the Devolution Settlement and risks UK Ministers intervening without proper consultation or knowledge of local circumstances.

“The Subsidy Control Bill as it stands proposes broad powers for the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – shaping the future regime with little scrutiny from the UK Parliament and no scrutiny by Devolved Administrations.

“Agriculture is fully devolved.

“Farmers and crofters in Scotland face challenges not found elsewhere in the UK.

“Yet the principles set out in Schedule 1 of the Bill risk constraining our ability to develop future policies that are tailored to the needs of Scottish agriculture.

“We will continue to engage and work with the UK Government to convince them of the need for an appropriate regime which respects all four nations.”

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