News story

'You cannot be serious', Mundell tells Scotland Bill critics

Scottish Secretary reiterates commitment to work with Scottish Government to improve Scotland Bill.

As the Scotland Bill enters the fourth day of Committee Stage in the House of Commons, Scottish Secretary David Mundell challenged opposition MPs to focus on serious amendments rather than proposing changes that go way beyond the all-party Smith Agreement.

David Mundell said the Government was listening very carefully as the Bill is debated in Parliament and will be working with the Scottish Government to make improvements to the legislation which will make Holyrood one of the most powerful devolved parliaments in the world.

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He said earlier amendments such as those on Full Fiscal Autonomy and devolving National Insurance could not be taken seriously as they would be bad for Scotland and were not part of the Smith Agreement.

Mr Mundell said:

The Government has moved quickly to turn the Smith Agreement into law as we promised we would. I am listening carefully to the points being made in debate but I would caution opposition MPs that you cannot be serious if you come forward with proposals for full fiscal autonomy or devolving National Insurance. These would be bad for Scotland and were not part of the Smith Agreement.

There is still plenty of time for MPs to consider the Scotland Bill and the UK and Scottish Governments will be working together over the summer to find ways to improve the legislation.