Holyrood Highlights: The normal folk’s guide to Wednesday in parliament


231 amendments enter! One bill leaves!

FOR ONCE, Holyrood gets up before Holyrood Highlights.

While parliamentary business generally sticks to the kind of reasonable schedule usually associated with first year university students, the ongoing scrutiny of the Continuity Bill and its many, many amendments has mucked up everyone’s timing, spreading the appalling practice of ‘getting up early’ from the committee system to the august surroundings of the debating chamber.

But wait, there’s more: read on for all the details.

Parliamentary business

Holyrood Highlights’ usual distinctions blur into a terrifying hybrid today, as the finance and constitution committee continues yesterday’s epic session in the chamber today, after working until 11pm last night.

So far, the Scottish Tories – who have tabled the bulk of the amendments under consideration – have not had a great deal of luck in wrecking what they insist is a wrecking bill. Perhaps due to sleep deprivation, Tory arguments have ranged from a) no one outside of the Holyrood bubble cares about the Continuity Bill, to b) on behalf of all those people who don’t care, the Continuity Bill must be ruthlessly scrutinised, delayed and twisted into an evil mirror-universe version of itself.

However, eventually the occupying forces of the committee will need to clear out and make way for SNP MSP Stuart McMillan’s Member’s Business on Commonwealth Day 2018, which welcomes this year’s theme of ‘Towards a Common Future’ and congratulates Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians on its efforts to increase female representation in Commonwealth legislatures.

Later on, a Scottish Labour debate on the Scottish Government’s procurement of goods, services and construction projects will see argue that there should be an urgent review of practices surrounding procurement, including employment and the operation of the Scottish Futures Trust.

Finally, Labour MSP Monica Lennon will bring Member’s Business on the use of incinerators in Scotland, discussing environmental concerns and how their widespread use intersects with the Scottish Government’s Zero Waste Plan.

Committee business

Other than the high-profile activities of the finance and constitution committee, today the rural economy and connectivity committee will discuss salmon farming in Scotland. This meeting will likely address warnings from MSPs earlier this month that Scotland’s marine ecosystem faces “irrecoverable damage” from such farming if issues regarding sustainability are not addressed.

Visits and events

Today, Beatrice Fihn, executive director of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), recipients of the 2017 Nobel Peace Price for its work bringing about the UN Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons, will be visiting parliament to meet with cabinet secretary for external affairs Fiona Hyslop before joining a vigil at Faslane naval base.

Picture courtesy of SteveR-

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