I spoke in the NHS Tayside Public Inquiry Debate, and acknowledged the importance of feedback to public services in order to improve the quality of services people are able to access – especially in an area as important as mental health. I welcome the fact that NHS Tayside Chairman John Brown has commissioned an independent inquiry into the mental health services offered by NHS Tayside, and it is crucial that recommendations be undertaken as a matter of priority.
The evidence from Mike Russell MSP, Minister for UK Negotiations on Scotland’s Place in Europe, during the Finance and Constitution Committee yesterday was clear, the consent of the Scottish Parliament throughout the negotiations over the EU Withdrawal Bill remains crucial. Consent remains a fundamental principle of devolution and we can’t let the UK Government undermine the powers of the Scottish Parliament.
Today I spoke in the Conservative Party Members Debate on NHS Tayside. The Government’s handling of this situation has been open and transparent from the start, and the Cabinet Secretary has taken decisive action to maintain public confidence. For the opposition to come to the chamber and question the funding of the Scottish NHS with no serious funding plans of their own is not credible and not the serious approach the issue and Scotland deserves.
During First Minister’s Questions, I asked the First Minister whether the EU Withdrawal Bill had been adequately amended by the UK Government in order to meet the expectations of the Scottish Government. It is deeply concerning that the UK Government seems intent on undermining Scottish devolution as we know it. Watch below for the First Minister’s answer.
Yesterday I asked expert witnesses on the Finance and Constitution Committee about Investor- State Dispute Settlements and their potential inclusion in future trade deals negotiated by the UK Government on behalf of Scotland, in a session focusing on the UK Trade Bill.
Yesterday I asked the Minister for Employability and Training, Jamie Hepburn MSP, what the Scottish Government’s response is to the recent publication of large companies’ gender pay gaps, which show that there remains a large pay gap among many companies across the UK, including in Edinburgh. Watch to see his answer.
Yesterday I asked the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport Shona Robinson the question “Whether the independent OSCR’s investigations will extend to other Health Boards.” See below for her answer.
Today I spoke in support of the Scottish Government’s motion calling on the UK Government to ratify the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Community traditions and practices have had a significant impact on our society for hundreds of years, and it is right to recognise the way they continue to shape our national identity. Scotland’s intangible culture deserves the international recognition that other cultures have secured, and anything less sells Scotland short. Watch my speech below, where I touch on two seasonal Celtic traditions we still celebrate today.
Last night I spoke in favour of the Scottish Government’s UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Legal Continuity) (Scotland) Bill. This was introduced to protect the devolution settlement and Scottish Parliament from an unashamed power-grab from Westminster. It does nothing more than protect existing powers and is vital in ensuring the continuity of Scots laws in relation to devolved areas after Brexit.