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


Continuity Bill culminates campaign to curtail calamity

WEDNESDAY – the halfway point in the week for both parliamentarians, with their three-day schedule, as well as regular humans.

Today is likely to be dominated by the Continuity Bill, which means everyone is working late again. Subject to Rule 9.8.4A – which every schoolchild knows – all remaining amendments will be considered in a tightly constrained timeframe, so hopefully, when parliament caps off the day with Decision Time, something will be decided other than who gets the last taxi home.

Parliamentary business

Following parliamentary bureau motions, SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor will lead parliament’s recognition of 21 March as the UN Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, reaffirming Holyrood’s commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and noting that “racial inequality and racial discrimination continue to be prevalent and, at times, accepted in society, despite the ratification of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination nearly 53 years ago”.

MacGregor will urge parliament to condemn all forms or racism and welcome the publication of the Scottish Government’s Race Equality Framework for Scotland 2016-2030 and the Race Equality Action Plan 2017-2021.

Following one last fun-filled day of amendment consideration and legal posturing, it is expected the Scottish Government’s emergency alternative legislation on Brexit will pass through the final stage of legislative ratification, which will undoubtedly settle the matter once and for all, with no complaints or further consequences.

Committee business

While the local government and communities committee continues to wade through the Planning Bill, the rural economy and connectivity committee will be considering the Laser Misuse Bill, which is probably not as exciting as it sounds.

Visits and events

Parliament starts off the day with a breakfast seminar on the effect of Brexit on the Scottish economy – which is a hell of a thing to be confronted with over your bacon and eggs – before ending the day with the annual parliamentary reception for the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations (SCVO), which will discuss the difference the third sector can make to the lives of people and communities across Scotland.

Picture courtesy of Graeme Maclean

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