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What's On This Week in 60 Seconds

Lawrie Scott-McFarlane

Another packed week of exciting, unmissable parliamentary business is in store for the people of Scotland this week. Here are the highlights.

Academics weigh-in on tricky Brexit and football legislation

Committees continue to take forward their ongoing scrutiny work in a number of contentious areas this week. On Wednesday, the Finance & Constitution Committee will hear from constitutional lawyers on the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. We can also expect many of the political arguments relating to Brexit to be rehashed in the chamber, since the Scottish Government has scheduled a debate on migration for Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Justice Committee will hear from a range of lecturers on the thorny question of the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Repeal) (Scotland) Bill, including from Scottish Twitter superstar Andrew Tickell. There will also be session on air quality and Scottish economic data.

Minimum pricing verdict

The Supreme Court will issue its final judgment on the Scottish Government’s embattled minimum unit pricing scheme on Wednesday. There will be no further appeals on the issue once it has been settled. Nothing has been scheduled in Parliament on the issue as of yet, but we can expect the verdict to dominate the headlines. A ministerial statement on the issue this week is not out of the question, and there is sufficient time to squeeze it in.

Evidence on lobbying at Holyrood

The Standards, Procedures & Public Appointments Committee is scheduled to hear evidence from the Acting Lobbying Registrar, Douglas Wands, on the Scottish Parliament’s new lobbying code of conduct on Thursday. The issue attracted some recent controversy following a report in the Sunday Herald which found that three-quarters of those involved in the Lobbying Register Working Group were from commercial “lobbying interests” rather than transparency campaigners.

Action on fire safety following Grenfell

The Scottish Government is due to give an update on fire safety on Wednesday. Holyrood’s Local Government & Communities Committee recently published its report on the issue and we are awaiting a formal response to its findings and recommendations from Scottish ministers. On Wednesday, MSPs will hear about the work of the short-term ministerial group that had been set up to address concerns in the area. A number of MSPs have also tabled questions on cuts to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service as part of Portfolio Questions, also taking place on Wednesday.

Preventing bullying and child abuse

Child safety and wellbeing will be a big theme this week. The Scottish Government has scheduled a ministerial statement on preventing the sexual abuse of children on Tuesday. Additionally, the Health & Sport Committee is taking evidence on NHS Governance from a range of organisations working with those with mental health problems and learning disabilities. There will also be a debate on tackling bullying on Wednesday. Members will discuss the recent work by the Equalities & Human Rights Committee and Equalities & Human Rights Committee, who produced reports on social education and combating prejudice-based bullying in schools.

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