The sixth round of Brexit negotiations looms large this week, with talks set to take place on 9th and 10th November. Coupled with recent revelations and resignations amid accusations of improper conduct, it seems unlikely that any calm will succeed the tumultuous times engulfing politics both north and south of the border, despite Westminster entering recess on Tuesday.
Beginning the week in Holyrood though, business starts with evidence from Shona Robinson to the Health & Sport Committee on technology and innovation in health and social care, while the Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform Committee takes evidence on air quality from Sustrans, Transform Scotland and others.
In the Chamber, Topical Questions will be followed by a statement from the First Minister that will apologise to those convicted for same-sex sexual activity that is now legal. Attention will then turn to a Stage 1 debate on the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Bill and a Members’ Business debate brought by Daniel Johnson on Respect for Shopworkers Week. Expect some discussion of his forthcoming Members' Bill on worker protections.
Wednesday will see Portfolio Questions on the rural economy & connectivity, and environment, climate change & land reform. Stage 3 proceedings of the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill will follow. Ending proceedings , Andy Wightman’s Members’ Business debate, Homes First, will seek to address the rising number of entire homes being made available for short-term let. Earlier in the day, the Education & Skills Committee takes evidence on the Children and Young People (Information Sharing) (Scotland) Bill from John Swinney. The Finance & Constitution Committee’s focus will fall on the legislative consent memorandum of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill and the members will be joined by David Mundell and Robin Walker.
Thursday will open with a meeting of the Equalities & Human Rights Committee and its consideration of the Draft Budget 2018-19. The Social Security Committee will meet to take evidence on a council tax reduction amendments (potentially a little controversial as the DPLR Committee recently agreed they may touch on reserved areas) before General Questions. First Minister’s Questions follows, the content of which is likely to include questions about the conduct of Nicola Sturgeon’s own Ministers after the resignation of Mark McDonald. A Members’ Business debate highlighting Global Entrepreneurship Week will precede Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body Questions (also covering sexual harassment). A preliminary stage debate on the Writers to the Signet Dependents’ Annuity Fund Amendment (Scotland) Bill and Stage 3 of the Seatbelts on School Transport (Scotland) Bill round the day off.
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