Official Report

 

  • Meeting of the Parliament 09 June 2015    
      • Time for Reflection
        • The Presiding Officer (Tricia Marwick):

          Good afternoon. The first item of business is time for reflection. Our time for reflection leader today is the Rev David Mumford of St Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Brechin.

        • The Rev David Mumford (St Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Brechin):

          I am rector of Brechin and Tarfside in the Brechin diocese of the Scottish Episcopal Church—many thanks indeed for inviting me here today.

          I begin with a true story about taking sides and the common good. Twenty years ago, I was a parish priest in east Newcastle upon Tyne, and I had a very good relationship with the local Methodists. Their minister was a lithe and active young man, and one day he saw a youth mugging an elderly lady and stealing her handbag. He took off in pursuit, collared the youth and sat on him until the police arrived.

          Later that day, the minister went to the police station to visit the youth and found him with quite severe bruising, which the youth alleged had been caused by the police. The minister went to the station sergeant and lodged a formal complaint about the ill treatment that the young man had received. The station sergeant took down the details, and then took the minister on one side and asked him if he really wanted to make the complaint. The young man was known to the police, had a record for petty theft and drug taking and had clearly caused the old lady real suffering. The courts would not adequately punish him for what he had done. The sergeant ended up by congratulating the minister on apprehending the youth, and said, “Well, whose side are you on, ours or his?”

          Taking sides is often a problem in reflecting on the common good. After a period of silence, the minister said, “I think I’m trying to be on God’s side.”

          One of our Episcopal prayers goes as follows:

          “Bless and guide Elizabeth our queen, give wisdom to all in authority; direct this and every nation in the ways of peace and justice that we may honour one another and seek the common good.”

          The common good is something that enables all people to flourish—as John’s gospel says, that we

          “may have life and have it in abundance.”

          Security, food, warmth, shelter, housing, health, education, the chance to participate in determining our own destiny and the society in which we live—all those are part of what goes together in making up the common good. Christians would see the promotion of the common good as a public consequence of being on God’s side, and there is a moral responsibility on public authorities to seek that common good.

          May God be with you in this work.

      • Business Motion
        • The Presiding Officer (Tricia Marwick):

          The next item of business is consideration of business motion S4M-13421, in the name of Joe FitzPatrick, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, setting out a revision to today’s business programme. Any member who wishes to speak against the motion should press their request-to-speak button now.

          Motion moved,

          That the Parliament agrees to the following revision to the programme of business for Tuesday 9 June 2015—

          delete

          followed by Ministerial Statement: Publication of the 2013 Greenhouse Gas Inventory

          followed by Scottish Government Debate: EU Referendum

          and insert

          followed by Scottish Government Debate: EU Referendum

          followed by Ministerial Statement: Publication of the 2013 Greenhouse Gas Inventory—[Joe FitzPatrick.]

        • The Presiding Officer:

          Patrick Harvie has indicated that he wishes to speak against the motion. Mr Harvie, you have up to five minutes.

          14:04  
        • Patrick Harvie (Glasgow) (Green):

          Thank you, Presiding Officer—I will need nothing like five minutes. I simply question why we are being asked to change business by moving the ministerial statement on publication of the greenhouse gas inventory to later in the afternoon.

          Opposition parties were initially approached on the basis that the move was necessary to allow the Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee to return from a visit to Orkney. I see that several members of that committee are in the chamber at the moment and would have been able to ask questions on the ministerial statement.

          Given today’s events, it seems more likely that the change is to allow the Government to make policy announcements to the media, as happened over lunch time—[Interruption.] The Minister for Parliamentary Business is shaking his head. He will have an opportunity to respond in a moment.

          We are very aware that policy announcements have been made to the media over lunch time. The announcements were embargoed, which meant that members were not able to be aware of them before the media. The Government wants to change the timing of the statement in order to spend the day managing the press presentation of the issue rather than answering difficult questions on an important topic after yet another failed climate change target.

          14:05  
        • The Minister for Parliamentary Business (Joe FitzPatrick):

          First of all, to be absolutely clear, the Government would have been delighted for the statement to be made as was originally proposed. However, a request came in from Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee members. The first request came from the Scottish National Party’s Graeme Dey; the second request came from James Kelly, on behalf of Sarah Boyack, a Labour committee member; and the third request came from Alison McInnes, on behalf of the Liberal Democrat committee member.

          The issue is not just about whether people could physically be here in the chamber, because we were aware that the timings would just about allow people to be here for 2 o’clock. It is about making sure that parties’ spokespeople to whom, as a courtesy, the Government gives a copy of the statement an hour in advance, would not be able to process it properly prior to coming into the chamber to ask questions about it.

          On the point about the statistics, the statistics, which were published at 9.30 this morning, are produced independently. The code of practice for official statistics states:

          “Issue statistical releases at the standard time of 9.30am on a weekday, to maintain consistency and to permit time for users to understand and respond to the information during normal working hours.”

          The Government press release on the statistics was issued at 9.51 am—[Interruption.]

        • Patrick Harvie:

          I did not ask anything about statistics.

        • The Presiding Officer:

          Mr Harvie!

        • Joe FitzPatrick:

          —and referred only to the statistics that had been published. The Green Party issued a press statement based on the same statistical release.

          When the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform makes her statement this afternoon, as well as updating Parliament on the statistics and the progress being made, she will announce details of the Government’s further measures to tackle emissions.

          I call on Patrick Harvie to reconsider his opposition to the business motion, which changes only the timing of the statement and nothing else.

          I understand that some of the RACCE Committee members would have been able to be here to ask questions, but I am not convinced that all the parties’ spokespeople would have had the time to fully consider the statement in advance, which is something that we always try to allow for as a matter of courtesy. I hope that the chamber will support the business change, which was supported this morning by the Parliamentary Bureau.

        • The Presiding Officer:

          The question is, that motion S4M-13421, in the name of Joe FitzPatrick, be agreed to. Are we agreed?

          Members: No.

        • The Presiding Officer:

          There will be a division. I suspend the meeting for five minutes to allow the division bell to be rung and members to return to the chamber.

          14:08 Meeting suspended.  14:13 On resuming—  
        • The Presiding Officer:

          We now move to the vote on motion S4M-13421.

          For

          Adam, George (Paisley) (SNP)
          Adamson, Clare (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          Allard, Christian (North East Scotland) (SNP)
          Baillie, Jackie (Dumbarton) (Lab)
          Baker, Claire (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Baker, Richard (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Baxter, Jayne (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Beamish, Claudia (South Scotland) (Lab)
          Biagi, Marco (Edinburgh Central) (SNP)
          Bibby, Neil (West Scotland) (Lab)
          Boyack, Sarah (Lothian) (Lab)
          Brodie, Chic (South Scotland) (SNP)
          Brown, Gavin (Lothian) (Con)
          Brown, Keith (Clackmannanshire and Dunblane) (SNP)
          Buchanan, Cameron (Lothian) (Con)
          Burgess, Margaret (Cunninghame South) (SNP)
          Campbell, Roderick (North East Fife) (SNP)
          Carlaw, Jackson (West Scotland) (Con)
          Chisholm, Malcolm (Edinburgh Northern and Leith) (Lab)
          Coffey, Willie (Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley) (SNP)
          Constance, Angela (Almond Valley) (SNP)
          Crawford, Bruce (Stirling) (SNP)
          Cunningham, Roseanna (Perthshire South and Kinross-shire) (SNP)
          Davidson, Ruth (Glasgow) (Con)
          Dey, Graeme (Angus South) (SNP)
          Don, Nigel (Angus North and Mearns) (SNP)
          Doris, Bob (Glasgow) (SNP)
          Dornan, James (Glasgow Cathcart) (SNP)
          Dugdale, Kezia (Lothian) (Lab)
          Eadie, Jim (Edinburgh Southern) (SNP)
          Ewing, Annabelle (Mid Scotland and Fife) (SNP)
          Fabiani, Linda (East Kilbride) (SNP)
          Fee, Mary (West Scotland) (Lab)
          Ferguson, Patricia (Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn) (Lab)
          FitzPatrick, Joe (Dundee City West) (SNP)
          Fraser, Murdo (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
          Gibson, Rob (Caithness, Sutherland and Ross) (SNP)
          Goldie, Annabel (West Scotland) (Con)
          Grahame, Christine (Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale) (SNP)
          Grant, Rhoda (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
          Gray, Iain (East Lothian) (Lab)
          Griffin, Mark (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          Henry, Hugh (Renfrewshire South) (Lab)
          Hepburn, Jamie (Cumbernauld and Kilsyth) (SNP)
          Hume, Jim (South Scotland) (LD)
          Hyslop, Fiona (Linlithgow) (SNP)
          Ingram, Adam (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) (SNP)
          Johnstone, Alex (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Keir, Colin (Edinburgh Western) (SNP)
          Kelly, James (Rutherglen) (Lab)
          Kidd, Bill (Glasgow Anniesland) (SNP)
          Lamont, Johann (Glasgow Pollok) (Lab)
          Lamont, John (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire) (Con)
          Lochhead, Richard (Moray) (SNP)
          Lyle, Richard (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          MacAskill, Kenny (Edinburgh Eastern) (SNP)
          MacDonald, Angus (Falkirk East) (SNP)
          MacDonald, Gordon (Edinburgh Pentlands) (SNP)
          MacKenzie, Mike (Highlands and Islands) (SNP)
          Malik, Hanzala (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Marra, Jenny (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Martin, Paul (Glasgow Provan) (Lab)
          Mason, John (Glasgow Shettleston) (SNP)
          Matheson, Michael (Falkirk West) (SNP)
          Maxwell, Stewart (West Scotland) (SNP)
          McAlpine, Joan (South Scotland) (SNP)
          McArthur, Liam (Orkney Islands) (LD)
          McCulloch, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          McDonald, Mark (Aberdeen Donside) (SNP)
          McDougall, Margaret (West Scotland) (Lab)
          McGrigor, Jamie (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
          McInnes, Alison (North East Scotland) (LD)
          McKelvie, Christina (Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse) (SNP)
          McLeod, Aileen (South Scotland) (SNP)
          McLeod, Fiona (Strathkelvin and Bearsden) (SNP)
          McMahon, Siobhan (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          McTaggart, Anne (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Milne, Nanette (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Murray, Elaine (Dumfriesshire) (Lab)
          Paterson, Gil (Clydebank and Milngavie) (SNP)
          Pearson, Graeme (South Scotland) (Lab)
          Rennie, Willie (Mid Scotland and Fife) (LD)
          Rowley, Alex (Cowdenbeath) (Lab)
          Scanlon, Mary (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
          Scott, John (Ayr) (Con)
          Simpson, Dr Richard (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Smith, Drew (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Smith, Elaine (Coatbridge and Chryston) (Lab)
          Stevenson, Stewart (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP)
          Stewart, David (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
          Stewart, Kevin (Aberdeen Central) (SNP)
          Swinney, John (Perthshire North) (SNP)
          Torrance, David (Kirkcaldy) (SNP)
          Urquhart, Jean (Highlands and Islands) (Ind)
          Wheelhouse, Paul (South Scotland) (SNP)
          White, Sandra (Glasgow Kelvin) (SNP)
          Yousaf, Humza (Glasgow) (SNP)

          Against

          Finnie, John (Highlands and Islands) (Ind)
          Harvie, Patrick (Glasgow) (Green)
          Johnstone, Alison (Lothian) (Green)
          Wilson, John (Central Scotland) (Ind)

        • The Presiding Officer:

          The result of the division is: For 97, Against 4, Abstentions 0.

          Motion agreed to,

          That the Parliament agrees to the following revision to the programme of business for Tuesday 9 June 2015—

          delete

          followed by Ministerial Statement: Publication of the 2013 Greenhouse Gas Inventory

          followed by Scottish Government Debate: EU Referendum

          and insert

          followed by Scottish Government Debate: EU Referendum

          followed by Ministerial Statement: Publication of the 2013 Greenhouse Gas Inventory.

      • Topical Question Time
        • Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Powers)
          • 1. Claire Baker (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab):

            To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the range of powers of the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner. (S4T-01054)

          • The Cabinet Secretary for Justice (Michael Matheson):

            The Police and Fire Reform (Scotland) Act 2012 and related regulations strengthened police oversight arrangements and provided additional broad investigative powers for the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner.

            PIRC can undertake a range of different investigations. In serious incidents as defined by the legislation, such as death or serious injury following police contact, the accompanying serious incident regulations require that a person must co-operate with PIRC, including by providing documents and other information that the commissioner may require.

            When the Crown directs PIRC to investigate, PIRC officers conduct their duties under the direction of the commissioner and, as such, they have all the powers and privileges of a constable, such as powers of detention or arrest and of seizing documents or other evidence.

            PIRC has not raised any concerns about its powers to investigate cases.

          • Claire Baker:

            Sheku Bayoh died in police custody in Kirkcaldy on 3 May. An investigation is on-going into the circumstances of his death. Understandably, his family want answers. As it is a serious case, PIRC is carrying out its inquiry under the direction of the Crown.

            However, the development of the investigation has raised some serious concerns about the range of powers of PIRC. My understanding is that, in a serious case such as this—in cases involving a death in custody—regulation 5 of the Police Investigations and Review Commissioner (Investigations Procedure, Serious Incidents and Specified Weapons) Regulations 2013, which provides PIRC with the power to require information from police officers, does not apply, and no witnesses can be compelled to give a statement.

            In addition, it has been reported that a Police Scotland memo was issued to police officers in March, following an agreement with the Crown, advising them that they did not have to provide operational statements relating to incidents that they had been involved with if there was a possibility of their being subject to criminal complaints.

            That leads to a situation in which, exactly at the stage when PIRC needs the strongest possible powers, its powers are restricted. Officers are being advised that they do not need to co-operate where there is a possibility of criminal complaint. The lack of operational statements surely hampers an investigation.

            Can the cabinet secretary respond to those serious concerns?

          • Michael Matheson:

            Of course, it would not be appropriate for me to comment on an existing live investigation that is being conducted by PIRC under the direction of the Crown Office.

            However, in general terms, the member is correct that some changes were made to the operating standard procedure to which she refers. That change reflected the particular circumstances in which an individual officer may be the witness to a particular event. Those are considered on a case-by-case basis when it comes to taking a statement from officers. Routinely, the process would be that, in cases in which an officer has been a witness, they should not be relieved of their duties until an operational statement has been written. That is also dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

            As I have indicated to the member, there are procedures in place under the regulations that we believe give PIRC sufficient powers to undertake any investigation into any case as required. If, following any investigation that PIRC has been undertaking, it highlights its feeling that there is some deficiency in its existing powers, we would of course consider that following the completion of any investigation that PIRC may be carrying out.

          • Claire Baker:

            I appreciate the cabinet secretary’s response. The problem in this case has been the lack of operational statements. I understand that police officers are entitled to the same protection as any other citizen. However, if we are to have policing by consent, there needs to be public confidence in the investigation. Under the current legislation, the regulations and the guidance appear to create an environment in which it is possible for key information not to be shared at key moments in an investigation.

            I hear the cabinet secretary saying that he will listen to any recommendations from PIRC, but will he also give a commitment today that he will ask his civil servants and legal advisers to investigate the serious issues that have been raised over the weekend and that he will report back to Parliament as a matter of urgency?

          • Michael Matheson:

            No, I cannot give that commitment, as it is a live investigation. It would be appropriate for me to wait for that live investigation to be completed before I consider any of those matters.

            As I indicated to the member, if, following any investigation, PIRC made representations to us about deficiencies in its powers—it has not done so—we would consider them, but I think that it is appropriate that we allow the investigation that is being directed by the Crown Office through PIRC to be completed. Any issues that need to be considered following that could be looked at then.

          • Alison McInnes (North East Scotland) (LD):

            As I understand it, PIRC confirmed publicly that it made several failed attempts to secure statements and only recently secured statements. Surely that, in itself, is a matter of concern. Does the cabinet secretary not accept that there is at least a perception of a risk of a conflict of interests and of undermining the separation of powers if PIRC can compel an officer to provide information only when an investigation has been requested by the force or the chief constable and not when it has been initiated by the Crown Office?

          • Michael Matheson:

            If any issues emerge from the case, they will be considered following the conclusion of the investigation. It would not be appropriate for me to comment on the detail of what is going on in that investigation at this point in time.

            As I have mentioned, if any issues are highlighted following the investigation in question or any other investigation that is undertaken by PIRC, we will consider them at that point. To date, we have not received any representations from PIRC in relation to its powers.

      • European Union Referendum
        • The Presiding Officer (Tricia Marwick):

          The next item of business is a debate on motion S4M-13404, in the name of Fiona Hyslop, on the European Union referendum.

          14:21  
        • The Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs (Fiona Hyslop):

          Scotland has been a positive and integral part of the European Union for more than 40 years. Engagement with the European Union and its institutions has been and will remain a core priority for this Government, but we now stand near a crossroads. The outcome of the general election has resulted in the publication of a United Kingdom referendum bill—the European Union Referendum Bill—which lays the ground for an in/out referendum in the UK before the end of 2017. Although the Scottish Government made it clear in the run-up to the general election that we do not support the holding of a referendum on EU membership, a referendum is now a reality and we must deal with it.

          The Westminster Parliament is debating the European Union Referendum Bill at second reading today. On the proposed franchise, the bill fails to meet the gold standard of the independence referendum. On reform, the Scottish National Party Government set out our views in “Scotland’s Agenda for EU Reform”, which was published on 20 August 2014. Those reforms can be achieved without treaty change.

          We will make the positive case for the benefits that EU membership brings to Scotland and, indeed, to the rest of the UK. We will say why it is vital that our membership of the EU continue, and why it is incumbent on all of us to make the case for continued EU membership as a referendum approaches.

          The Scottish Parliament has debated the importance of EU membership on a number of occasions, and there has been a strong consensus that continued EU membership matters to Scotland. An in/out referendum is now an inevitability, so we must continue to spell out the case for Scotland’s EU membership, going forward. In making that positive case, we will ensure that the facts are set out in order to tackle head on the unfounded fears and smears of those who want to see an EU exit for the UK, as they present them from a narrow isolationist position.

          The First Minister was in Brussels last week, where she set out Scotland’s commitment to the EU in a speech to the European Policy Centre. Central to the First Minister’s argument for membership was that, as a country of 5 million people, we understand that we cannot act in isolation and that partnership among independent states is essential for progress, so the fundamental vision of the EU—of independent nations working together for a common good—appeals to us.

          Co-operation is critical to success in the EU. In many areas, delivering the greater good can be successful only when 28 member states act together. It seems to be hopelessly optimistic to conclude that member states acting alone could deliver significant emissions reductions in the fight against climate change, or that they could take forward plans to develop a North Sea grid that will one day allow countries that border the North Sea to trade renewable energy.

          The EU must look outward and act globally, or Europe will become the old continent of the past when the rest of the world moves on without it. Of course, the immediate economic arguments that support membership remain critical and cannot be overstated. Membership places our businesses within the world’s largest economy, whose 500 million citizens enjoy some of the highest standards of living on the globe.

          About 20 million businesses operate in the EU single market supplying goods and services to consumers and businesses both in the EU and on the global market. The EU is a vital export market for Scottish firms; it accounted for almost half of Scotland’s international exports in 2013, and is worth a massive £12.9 billion each year. It has been estimated that those exports support more than 300,000 jobs.

          Ernst & Young published a survey last month that confirmed that Scotland has become the most successful part of the UK outside London for attracting inward investment projects. Much of that is due to the skills of our workforce and the quality of life that we can offer, but for many investors our EU membership is a vital selling point. About 40 per cent of the 2,100 foreign-owned companies in Scotland in 2013 were owned by firms that are based in the EU. Realistically, how many such investors would come to Scotland if we were to find ourselves outside the EU? Let us not forget the benefits that EU funding delivers to Scotland, including €985 million of structural funds over the period 2014-20, or the €572 million of competitive funding that was won by Scottish universities in the period 2007-13.

          However, membership of the EU goes beyond the purely economic rationale. The experience of the EU and our vision for the EU is one in which we can create a more equal and more inclusive society. The Scottish Government believes strongly in a Europe that tackles the question of social justice. The EU has been at the forefront of protecting the welfare of its citizens, promoting gender equality and improved conditions for workers, and strengthening consumer rights. That is the type of EU that we must continue to develop: a vision of a European Union of members who embrace and promote human rights through the convention on human rights, rather than dismiss them or seek to refute them, and that deals collectively with humanitarian issues—for example the Mediterranean refugees—with compassion and not hostility.

          I also welcome the social, cultural and economic benefits that migration from the EU delivers to Scotland’s communities. The right to freedom of movement is also of huge benefit to Scots who move to live, study and work elsewhere in the EU. We estimate that 171,000 people who were born elsewhere in the EU currently live in Scotland. Contrary to the claims that one hears elsewhere about immigration acting as a drain on our society, it is estimated by University College London that EU migrants to the UK made a net contribution to the UK of about £20 billion between 2001 and 2011. Losing such an income would cost all of us.

          By being a productive EU member, we can ensure that our voice is clearly heard in the world and that we are able to shape EU laws and policies to ensure that they are of maximum benefit to our citizens. Alternatives to EU membership, such as joining the European Free Trade Association, offer no such opportunity for the UK and would transform its status from law maker to mere law taker. As the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs highlighted in an interview a matter of days ago:

          “In the EEA we have to implement all EU directives… we’re not around the table when they’re discussed in Brussels.”

          None of us here today will be able to vote to amend the referendum bill, but that should not stop us expressing our views on it—in particular, on where it falls short of expectations. The Scottish Government believes that the bill falls short in a number of areas. The 16 and 17-year-olds who voted in our referendum proved themselves to be the engaged, thoughtful and concerned citizens we always knew they would be. The case for letting them vote in the EU referendum is overwhelming.

        • Stewart Stevenson (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP):

          Is the cabinet secretary aware that Dr Sarah Wollaston, who is the MP for Totnes in south Devon, advocated precisely that point in this morning’s debate on the bill? She is, of course, a senior Conservative chair of committee.

        • Fiona Hyslop:

          I am very grateful to Stewart Stevenson for that intervention and am pleased to hear what he said because I think that the case for letting 16 and 17-year-olds vote in the EU referendum can and should be won. A united voice in the Scottish Parliament advocating votes for 16 and 17-year-olds will complement the voices at Westminster from a number of parties that are advocating the same, which will be important as the referendum bill progresses.

          However, 171,000 EU citizens live in Scotland and can vote in Scottish parliamentary and local government elections; they were able to vote in the independence referendum, something on which all parties in the Parliament agreed. They have chosen to make Scotland their home, so the case for extending the vote to them in the EU referendum is strong; they should have a voice in the issues that affect our country. I do not understand why the UK Government is proposing to grant the right to vote to citizens of three other EU countries living in the UK—Ireland, Malta and Cyprus—but not to citizens of the remaining 24.

          The polls have consistently shown that people in Scotland have a more favourable attitude to the EU than do their English counterparts. That is why the Scottish Government will argue for a double-majority provision—a double lock—in the bill, whereby the UK could leave the EU only if each constituent part of it voted to leave. That sort of territorial requirement is not unique; it is used in some federal states, for example Canada and Australia, and it should apply in this instance to the European Union Referendum Bill.

        • Neil Findlay (Lothian) (Lab):

          If Scotland votes no but the rest of the UK votes yes, how will double majority work?

        • Fiona Hyslop:

          I do not think that Scotland will vote no. Indeed, if we look at the opinion polls, it is well in advance—[Interruption.] Presiding Officer, as long as there are no health and safety issues and the Conservatives are perfectly all right, I will continue.

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer (John Scott):

          I think that things are under control.

        • Murdo Fraser (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con):

          On the double majority, by the same logic, why were the people of Orkney and Shetland not given a veto during the independence referendum last year?

        • Fiona Hyslop:

          I think that the people of Orkney and Shetland have their own issues with their current MP. However, the point is that this is a national referendum about our future within the European Union. The provisions for the independence referendum were perfectly agreed to. Indeed, I think that Murdo Fraser argued this point and I did not see him proposing a double majority in that instance, when the legislation for our referendum was going through.

        • David Stewart (Highlands and Islands) (Lab):

          Will the cabinet secretary give way?

        • Fiona Hyslop:

          No.

          On timing, no date has yet been set, but it is imperative that a referendum avoids the Scottish Parliament and local elections in May 2016 and May 2017. I hope that, should a date be set that we disagree with, we will be able to get consensus in this place.

        • Patrick Harvie (Glasgow) (Green):

          Will the cabinet secretary give way?

        • Fiona Hyslop:

          I want to pursue some points on the EU reform agenda.

          The Scottish Government has never argued that the EU is perfect, and we set out our suggestions in “Scotland’s Agenda for EU Reform”. The institutions of the EU have grown distant from citizens, so there is a need for those institutions to reconnect. We have identified two main ways in which the Scottish Government can contribute to that—first, by influencing the renewed EU institutions to pursue further regulatory reform so that EU regulation is more proportionate, consistent, accountable, transparent and targeted—for example, by implementing the agreed common fisheries policy reforms to decentralise fisheries management—and secondly by influencing the renewed EU institutions to prioritise economic and social policies that reflect the fundamental aspirations and concerns of its citizens.

          The EU must address international problems that member states acting alone could not address; it must promote energy security through the energy union package and complete the digital single market. It must tackle climate change collectively, promote growth and competitiveness that are sustainable and experienced by all citizens of the EU, promote collective action on youth employment, introduce EU law to enable procurement practices that require the living wage to be paid, and introduce EU law and policy to facilitate and encourage member states to take action to combat the causes of ill health.

          Those reforms are about doing things better and in a smarter way. They are about pursuing a continuous improvement agenda and changing the way the EU works as it expands and circumstances change. I believe that the existing treaty structures can accommodate that.

          However, the Prime Minister has said that he wants to renegotiate the UK’s relationship with Europe. It is far from clear what he actually wants and whether his proposals will require treaty change. David Cameron seems to be neither clear nor, from yesterday, in control. I issue a word of warning: we should not cast the forthcoming negotiations between the UK and other member states in terms of there being winners and losers. The whole point of a more effective European Union is that everyone should gain from it. In my view, compromise does not mean concession.

          A second warning is that we remain concerned about the UK Government’s rhetoric in some quarters, which creates the impression that EU membership is not beneficial at present and that it will become beneficial only if we achieve big enough reforms. That approach makes it harder to articulate the benefits that we already gain from membership. There is a real danger that the UK will focus the EU debate on a narrow agenda of the success or otherwise of the Prime Minister’s negotiations, rather than focusing on the bigger picture of the value and importance of the EU. We must remember that it is the overall position that will be the decision on the ballot and we must conduct the debate on EU membership with the bigger picture in mind.

          I believe that the best way to tell the positive story of EU membership is to tell the individual stories of the people, businesses and sectors that benefit right now. I call on members of this Parliament to help to make the positive case for EU membership to the Scottish people and to people throughout these islands.

          I move,

          That the Parliament notes the publication of the European Union Referendum Bill on 28 May 2015 and the Prime Minister’s intention to renegotiate the UK’s terms of membership with the EU before a referendum; advocates the bill’s amendment to extend the voting franchise in the referendum to 16 and 17-year-olds and all EU citizens resident in the UK; calls for the introduction of a double majority to ensure that none of the four constituent parts of the UK can be taken out of the EU against the will of its people; recognises the great value of Scotland’s place in the EU and will make a positive case for Scotland and the UK remaining in the EU by highlighting the economic, social, cultural and educational benefits of EU membership, and advocates the constructive reform of the EU from within the existing treaty framework.

          14:35  
        • Claire Baker (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab):

          I am pleased to take part in the debate. It is not that long since we had a debate on Europe, but this one takes place in very different circumstances. We now have a majority Conservative Government, and we will have an in/out EU referendum by the end of 2017. As we have this debate, the second reading of the European Union Referendum Bill is taking place in the UK Parliament. I accept that there is legislation to be passed and debate to be had on the terms of the referendum, but we have a majority Conservative Government in its early days, and it is in a position to decide those terms.

          We support changing the franchise in the UK to provide votes for 16 and 17-year-olds. The school debates during the Scottish independence referendum campaign were among the most informed and well-conducted debates that I took part in. Young people showed real interest and knowledge, which endorsed the decision to extend the franchise. We support the franchise in the EU referendum reflecting the franchise for Scottish Parliament elections, which would include EU citizens who are resident in the UK. Labour’s amendment also raises concerns about the date of any EU referendum, which should take place in its own space.

          However, we cannot allow the debate about the process to dominate the public debate. The outcome of the referendum in Scotland or anywhere else in the UK is not guaranteed. These are the early days of the debate, and those of us who support continued membership of the EU must win the argument convincingly. There are facts that we cannot ignore: first, there is a range of views in Scotland; secondly, a UK Independence Party MEP has been elected to represent Scotland; and, thirdly, many will come to the debate with a fairly open mind and will look to understand the arguments and be persuaded one way or the other. There is a long way to go with the electorate, and it would be naive to assume that we know the outcome in Scotland.

          We also cannot ignore the fact that, although there are many positive reasons to remain in the EU, some of which were outlined by the cabinet secretary and by the First Minister when she was in Brussels last week—I will come on to talk a bit more about those advantages—there will be arguments across the political and social spectrum that the EU is not working for Scotland. There will be concerns around business regulations, around the campaign that opposes the transatlantic trade and investment partnership and around the EU’s political direction. Those concerns need to be addressed in the debate.

          As well as being a social, economic, cultural and educational union, the EU is a political animal. All parties that support continued membership of the EU are also talking about reform. However, a country needs to remain a member to achieve that reform.

          There are huge economic challenges across Europe. Young people are finding it difficult to find employment, and we can see the social divide widening. Many economies face levels of poverty that they have not experienced for generations. There are social problems, community tensions, pressures on public services and workers’ rights, and rising concerns over tax avoidance and the implications of future trade deals.

          For too many people, Europe—the European Parliament, the European Commission and the Council of Ministers—does not look as if it is responding adequately. It is often bureaucratic, slow to respond, inflexible and driven from the centre. Therefore, greater effort must be made to reform the Commission and its bureaucracy, the Parliament and its accountability, and the economic model of the eurozone, which, for too many economies, is imbalanced. However, those challenges can be met only from within, not by threats to leave.

          The economic benefits of EU membership are hugely important to the Scottish economy. Across the UK, 200,000 companies directly benefit from EU membership, and £200 billion of annual exports and £450 billion of inward investment are tied to trade with our partners. Some 336,000 jobs are dependent on those relationships.

          In Scotland, we benefit from a single market of more than 500 million consumers. Scottish exports to the EU account for almost 50 per cent of total international exports. Our economy also benefits from freedom of movement and the people from EU member states who choose to come to live and work in Scotland. Migration brings huge benefits to our country. Migrants contribute more to the economy than they use, and many businesses that I speak to in the food, agriculture and textiles sectors as well as our health sector and services could not operate without employees from EU member states. That is a fact of our economy and of who we are.

          The debate cannot be about only the economy, economics or politics; it also has to be about our role in the world. We are faced with a choice between working with other nations across Europe to tackle the big challenges of our age and cutting ourselves off from the world. It must be about hearts and minds. The union is a social, cultural and educational one, too. Many of our environmental targets—our biodiversity, air quality and water quality targets—come from the EU, and we must do more to meet them. It is right to make efforts at a strategic, EU level to make shared progress.

          The freedom of movement in Europe, which is one of the drivers of Euroscepticism, works both ways: thousands of British citizens live and work freely across the EU; we travel with no barriers across the EU; we are part of a European family, and we are more interconnected than ever. The challenges of the modern world, such as human trafficking, internet fraud and copyright crime, do not recognise borders. A few weeks ago, we held a debate on the Mediterranean crisis, which presents a complex set of challenges that need EU and international action. That is not an isolated situation; rather, it is one that encapsulates the demands of our modern world. As part of the EU we can influence decision making and help to find solutions to those challenges. We need to be part of the debate on moving a far too inward-looking, self-obsessed Europe into an outward-looking, globally orientated Europe.

          Much progressive social policy originated in the EU, driving common standards for workers across the EU. We must argue for social solidarity and put that at the heart of the EU again. The EU can be an effective vehicle in advancing social conditions at work. Following campaigns by trade unions across Europe and by MEPs, the EU brought in measures to give part-time and temporary workers the same rights as full-time workers as regards training, pensions and maternity and other leave. It introduced EU-wide working-time laws and required, for the first time, a guaranteed right to paid holidays. Those significant rights were introduced by the EU at a time when it was easier to demonstrate to people how the EU benefits them. We are living in more complex times and the EU must demonstrate that it can respond to the modern economy.

          The result of the referendum is not predetermined in Scotland or anywhere else. The initial polling suggests a yes result, but there is a long way to go and we cannot be complacent about the result. It is important that we get a clear result with support from across the UK. Those of us who take a progressive approach towards the UK continuing its membership of the EU should be emphasising the positive way forward.

          I am concerned that we will fall into the trap of focusing on process and talking up divisions, which polling suggests do not exist, running the risk of souring the debate and creating false division and grievance. Let us not give the Eurosceptics or UKIP any succour. We should be tackling the debate head on and building a consensus across the UK for a future in Europe. Instead of talking up the political consequences of a UK exit from the EU, those of us who support staying in the EU should concentrate all our efforts on making the case for that.

          To be generous, I understand the anxiety around a Conservative Government taking the referendum forward. I thought that the cabinet secretary’s comments on the Conservative agenda in comparison to that of other supporters of the EU were fair. I have plenty of disagreement with the Conservatives on their politics, and on the EU they have disagreements within their own Government.

        • Stewart Stevenson:

          On 9 June 1975, after the result of the previous referendum, Mrs Thatcher said:

          “one cannot let this occasion pass without paying tribute to ... Winston Churchill ... and Harold Macmillan”.—[Official Report, House of Commons, 9 June 1975; Vol 893 c 31.]

          They were the original architects of what is before us—I have paraphrased slightly.

        • Claire Baker:

          I can always depend on Stewart Stevenson to make an interesting intervention.

          I am not convinced that the introduction of a double majority is the way to resolve some of the issues. I do not deny that different results across the UK would be difficult, but the current public reaction does not suggest that that will happen. A double majority is not a logical or credible solution. We recognise that it is a UK vote. We cannot weight votes depending on where a voter lives in the UK, because that would be undemocratic. Last week, Gordon Wilson pointed out that that would set a precedent for any future referendums, and given the ambition of many in the SNP, one would think that that would be something that they would want to avoid. There are also legal concerns because the vote will involve a member state, not individual parts of that state.

          The debate will be more productive if we emphasise where we have agreement, and we agree that we want the UK to stay within an EU that works in the interests of the people of Scotland and the UK. Let us not engineer a disagreement between Scotland, England and Wales—such a situation helped to give the Tories the keys to Downing Street—and miss the bigger prize.

          As a member of the EU, we have a voice on the world stage that would otherwise be lost. Whether in discussions about tackling climate change or in our relationship with the biggest economies in the world, we have influence far greater than our size would suggest. We live in the 21st century—a time that demands co-operation and partnerships. The European Union is a positive force of which we should remain a part.

          I move amendment S4M-13404.4 to leave out from “calls for” to end and insert:

          “believes that the EU referendum should not be held on the same date as any other election in Britain, including the Scottish Parliament election in 2016, as recommended by the Electoral Commission in its briefing, Referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union; highlights the substantial benefits of EU membership to Scotland and the UK’s economy through access to its single market; acknowledges the social, cultural and educational benefits of continued EU membership, and will make a positive progressive case for continued membership during the referendum while advocating constructive reform of the EU from within the existing treaty framework as strong and active members.”

          14:44  
        • Jamie McGrigor (Highlands and Islands) (Con):

          I will say a brief word about the tragic death of my fellow Highlander, Charles Kennedy. His presence will be particularly missed in the forthcoming debates on Europe, because I am sure that he would have relished the opportunity to speak up for the UK’s continued membership of the European Union in debates of this kind.

          There is a certain mischievous approach that has been adopted by the Scottish Government in the debate. We all know that Westminster will ultimately decide the European Union Referendum Bill, but the SNP is going to take every possible opportunity to use the EU referendum debates to further its own agenda, and this debate is an early warning of that. I suppose that it is quite natural for the SNP to do that.

          David Cameron made it quite clear in our 2015 manifesto that a future Conservative Government would introduce a bill to enable a referendum on Britain’s future membership of the EU. We now comfortably have that mandate from the British people. Our commitment to allowing citizens of the UK a say in an in/out referendum on the EU has never been stronger. Change is required and I remind the Liberal Democrats that, not that long ago, they pushed the case for a referendum on EU membership with more vigour than we did. Now we have the acting Labour leader, Harriet Harman, supporting the Conservative Government on having a referendum on EU membership by the end of 2017.

          Let us not forget that it was the SNP that wanted Britain out of the then European Community in the 1970s, with many members campaigning against EU membership right through the 80s and 90s. That was at the same time that the Conservative Government helped to create the single market under Mrs Thatcher. Later on, the Major Government successfully achieved the principle of subsidiarity, opting out of the excesses of the Maastricht treaty. The cabinet secretary may remember that the EU concessions, such as not joining the disastrous single currency or the social chapter, were achieved by John Major’s Conservative Government.

          I am a committed supporter of the European Union but I do not always see it through rose-tinted spectacles. There is much wastage and also an erosion of national culture and authority that is counterproductive and unnecessary. Britain has always been an outward-looking nation—

        • Christian Allard (North East Scotland) (SNP):

          I thank the member for taking an intervention.

          Yes, Britain is an outward-looking country—or it was. The European Union Referendum Bill does not say that I am allowed to vote. Mind you, perhaps the competence of the Prime Minister will have to be called into question, because in clause 2(1)(a), the bill refers to

          “the persons who, on the date of the referendum, would be entitled to vote as electors at a parliamentary election in any constituency”—

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:

          And your point is?

        • Christian Allard:

          Does that mean that I am allowed to vote in the referendum because I am allowed to vote in a parliamentary election in constituencies in Scotland?

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:

          Mr McGrigor, I will give you some extra time.

        • Jamie McGrigor:

          I do not know whether Christian Allard will be allowed to vote or not. That is my honest answer.

          If countries such as France, Germany and Belgium want a federal model in the shape of the holy Roman empire, so be it, but we want to ensure that the EU serves all member nations equally in achieving the objectives that can be agreed upon.

          We need a lighter and more flexible Europe, not one that smacks of authoritarianism. The Prime Minister is fighting for practical improvements for all EU member states, not just the UK. Those are good intentions that surely deserve support.

          The argument presented by the Scottish Government in its motion talks about the double-lock majority, suggesting that if one constituent part of the UK—England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland—votes to leave the EU, that should not force the other constituent parts to leave the EU. I fail to understand the logic of that argument, because the other three constituent parts of the UK were given no say at all in the SNP’s separatism agenda in the other referendum. Is that not a palpable sign of the Government’s inconsistency? The point that Neil Findlay made in an intervention deserves scrutiny, not the brush-off.

          I see all the benefits of the UK remaining a member of the EU but, as a member of the European and External Relations Committee, I have consistently argued that reform of the EU is required. As the Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, said at the weekend, we are simply calling for a fairer deal for Britain, and I am sure that that definitely includes Scotland. For my part, the Highlands and Islands desperately need the sort of EU investment that other nations enjoy.

          David Cameron has yet to set out the specific details of the changes that we want, but clearly they will include opting out of an ever-closer EU, some way to adjust benefits for EU migrants and giving greater powers to national Parliaments to block EU legislation that could have a negative effect.

          The debate should not be divisive. Questioning our relationship with Europe is not unnatural, as all relationships need questioning from time to time, but to do that in a divisive manner is simply unhelpful. Our Prime Minister will set out a programme of negotiations with our European partners to create a better deal, not just for Scotland and other parts of the UK but for the EU in general. We intend to make Europe work better, so why does the Scottish Government not get behind us, provide support and help us to deliver a better deal for Scotland?

          I move amendment S4M-13404.2, to leave out from first “advocates” to end and insert:

          “believes that the UK Parliament has the right to determine the franchise for such a referendum; recognises the vital importance of renegotiating the UK’s relationship with the EU, and pledges to work with the Prime Minister in order to achieve these changes and their subsequent approval in a UK-wide referendum.”

          14:51  
        • Willie Rennie (Mid Scotland and Fife) (LD):

          Our country makes the biggest impression on the globe when we are open, positive, diplomatic and generous. Of course, there have been periods in history that we would prefer to forget about and consign to the past, but we should be proud of what Britain does best when we seek partnership rather than difference.

          As a Liberal, I am an internationalist with a hunger to share with others the opportunities and challenges that the world presents to us. That is why I am pro-Europe. We should not forget that out of the ruins of war came one of the most powerful global institutions to spread peace—the European Union. It may seem a rather grandiose claim to talk about peace and the European Union, but we should remember that we secure peace not just by procuring more missiles, tanks or fighter jets but by securing the more fundamental aspects of life. With wellbeing and sharing of the environment, economy and resources comes the wellbeing of everyone. Free markets, common social and employment standards, protection of our environment and shared diplomatic endeavours are functions of the European Union that I value and which deeply underpin our security and progress the wellbeing of us all.

        • Neil Findlay:

          I ask Willie Rennie to reflect on those comments and consider how those values have affected the people of Greece.

        • Willie Rennie:

          The attempt to create a single market and force economies together with a single currency has flaws. However, we need to work together. If we keep Greece in the European Union, that will benefit us all. We need to get through the current difficult period but we should not simply claim that Greece exiting the European Union would resolve the problems. I hope that Neil Findlay would agree with that.

          When we share such functions, it is not possible to demand that everything be conducted in the fashion that we would deliver if we had full and sole control, but the sacrifices and compromises that we make through pooled sovereignty bring great advances. We all have our own numbers. For example, one in 10 jobs in the UK is linked to the EU single market and nearly half of British trade, which is worth around £500 billion, is with other EU member states. Around 300,000 Scottish jobs are linked to EU exports. Scotland is between £1.9 billion and £3.8 billion better off as a result of being part of Europe.

          We can all get swamped in the numbers and competing statistics, but I prefer simply to rely on the concepts of internationalism, co-operation and solidarity. That is a state of mind and we in the Parliament should adhere to it.

          I thank Jamie McGrigor for his remarks about Charles Kennedy. The campaign on the European Union that we should be conducting is one that I think Charles Kennedy, too, would have adopted. I am sure that he would have been a leading member of that campaign; he would have been a proud member, and I would have been proud that he was taking part in that yes campaign. Charles also had the ability to see the big picture. This is where my plea to the SNP comes in. I have a slight request for the SNP to try to see that bigger picture and cause that we are all striving towards.

          On Sunday morning, when the sun was shining through the curtains of my bedroom at 5 o’clock, I had a choice: I could either go back to sleep or go out for a morning run. I decided to put my fell shoes on, I drove up to Glen Devon and, with the early morning sun shining on my back, I had a splendid few hours run up in the Ochil hills, looking down over the Forth valley. I find no greater pleasure than doing such a thing on a Sunday morning. However, when I regale my friends and family with the tales of my times on the hills, I can see their eyes glazing over after a certain amount of time. I have to accept that the world does not revolve around my appreciation of the hills.

          There are parallels for the SNP—

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:

          Appreciation of Europe, perhaps?

        • Willie Rennie:

          Thank you, Presiding Officer, for the wit.

          There are parallels for the SNP, because the issue of independence was resolved last year. The world does not revolve around the SNP’s ambition for independence. I would suggest that the double-lock proposal from the SNP is simply another means to advance that ambition. That debate was last year; we need to move on. We all need to put our shoulder to the wheel to win this campaign. Pro-Europeans will never forgive the SNP if it devotes too much effort to highlighting the divisions within the United Kingdom and insufficient effort to the greater goal of membership of the European Union.

          Instead of fretting about a double lock or double majority in the EU referendum, SNP members should embrace the positive campaign to keep the whole of the UK inside the European Union. At the heart of the SNP double-lock proposal, there is a defeatism and pessimism that I reject. There is an acceptance by the SNP that the UK will choose to leave the European Union and that therefore there must be some kind of protection for Scotland from that fate. It is that pessimism that is potentially damaging to the wider movement, and the SNP should desist from it.

          I move amendment S4M-13404.1, to leave out from “calls for” to end and insert:

          “believes that the UK is best served being a part of the EU and recognises the positive impact that membership has on Scotland; considers the pro-European case to be strong across the UK but recognises that pro-EU does not equate to anti-reform; is certain that EU membership is important for jobs, given that the EU is the UK’s largest export market; believes that pulling up the drawbridge on the EU and the single market would be a sure way to damage the economy of Scotland and the whole UK; further believes that withdrawal from the EU would be damaging to the UK’s social and cultural diversity; celebrates the UK’s membership of the EU, and looks forward to making the positive case for its continued membership in the months ahead.”

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:

          We now move to the open debate with five-minute speeches.

          14:57  
        • Christina McKelvie (Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse) (SNP):

          The debate about the UK’s membership of Europe is in the main this, and I quote:

          “It is a tale
          Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
          Signifying nothing.”

          There is a lot of noise and not a lot of factual analysis. Macbeth, being a Scot, was not referring to Europe, of course, but he might well have been. The salient lesson for us is that this debate is about so much more than ambiguous facts or unfacts about welfare and migration. It is our job—our job—to make sure that the real debate takes place against this nasty, right-wing rhetoric.

          Being one of the family of nations so often referred to by David Cameron means, according to him, that Scotland has the rights of an equal partner. It does not seem much like it. Alongside the voters of Wales and Northern Ireland, Scotland’s voters must have the right to stop the UK’s withdrawal if the electorate here rejects it. That is not pessimism; that is equal partnership.

          Our membership of the EU brings enormous benefits, including 300,000 jobs and important investment as well as a fundamental freedom to travel, study, live and work anywhere in Europe. We want to work from within the EU. We do not want to be forced out by a right-wing, UKIP-friendly Westminster Government.

          We know that Europe is where we need to be, not just for trade but for the free movement of people and for our own human protections, and because of the great cultural melting pot that is formed by this block of 28 nations, each with its own unique background and history.

          Around 171,000 people from elsewhere in the European Union live and work in Scotland. Although they are, by definition, EU citizens, they are to be denied a vote in the referendum. Even though they are paying their UK taxes, contributing to the economy and exercising their right to live here, they are to be excluded from voting in the referendum, as they were excluded from voting in the Westminster elections.

          Some may argue that it is up to Westminster to decide the franchise, but that is only if the franchise does not discriminate and fly in the face of everything that I see as democracy, which is exactly what it does. I find it incomprehensible that citizens of the Commonwealth countries in Africa and of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Cyprus and Malta who live in the UK should be allowed to vote while their EU neighbours are denied that democratic opportunity.

          The picture is illogical and insulting, and it looks rather like someone is gerrymandering the result. Those who live and work here, wherever in the EU they happen to come from, might be considered to be a little more likely to vote to stay in the EU than some Tory Eurosceptics might be. Creating an electorate that tallies with a desired outcome is not part of modern-day democracy.

          That brings me to another crucial point about our electorate. Our young people between the ages of 16 and 18 have known no existence other than one in which they are part of the EU. Some of the comments that I have heard from Westminster today are at best ill-informed and at worst downright offensive.

          I commend to all members here and in Westminster the campaign on votes at 16 that is being run by the Scottish Youth Parliament—which has a stall in this building this week, which members should visit—and other youth parliaments in this island. In her maiden speech in 1967, Dr Winnie Ewing spoke up for votes at 16. This is not a new argument, but some of the arguments that are being used in Westminster today are old.

          The youngest of the young people in the group we are talking about were born in 1999. They are not familiar with living in the British empire or the Commonwealth. They generally have an assumption of their rights and protections as legislated for by the EU, so they take them for granted, and rightly so. Why would anyone feel that they need to question their rights to an education, to a safe place to live, not to be abused or trafficked, not to be raped or beaten up, and to have access to a fair working week and a reasonable standard of living?

          Scotland’s young people voted in our recent referendum. Some voted against independence and many voted in favour. They voted because we in this Scottish Parliament believed in their fundamental right to do so. They are the people who will be responsible for our future and for paying our pensions through their taxes. Denying them the opportunity of contributing their view of Scotland’s place in Europe and removing a fundamental human right will impact on their futures.

          I remind all members that those young people are our future MPs and MSPs, and we have to answer to them.

          15:03  
        • Malcolm Chisholm (Edinburgh Northern and Leith) (Lab):

          I tend to agree with The Guardian editorial this morning that suggested that the referendum was

          “another chapter in the destructive Conservative psychodrama over Europe.”

          However, other parties cannot afford to be too high and mighty on this issue. Famously, the Labour Party held a referendum 40 years ago because of divisions in the Labour Party; I was pleased to vote yes in that referendum, as I shall again in the upcoming one. Even more bizarrely—most people forget this—the SNP supported a referendum in 2007. I say that that was bizarre because it wanted a referendum because of one line in the Lisbon treaty about the conservation of marine biological resources—a line that had always been part of the original European treaty.

          Let us forget about those issues from the past. Today, I am substantially in agreement with the SNP, apart from the issue of a double majority, not least because that is not going to happen. I recommend to the SNP a paper by Sionaidh Douglas-Scott of the University of Oxford that argues that, if there is a no vote, it will be necessary to amend relevant parts of devolution legislation via a legislative consent motion, which we all know is going to be enshrined in the forthcoming Scotland act as something that is mandatory. The relevant part of the Scotland Act 1998 is section 29(2)(d), which states that laws in this Parliament must not be incompatible with any of the convention rights or Community laws. It might be more worth while for the SNP to pursue that route, rather than a double majority.

          I agree with the SNP and my own party about voting for 16 and 17-year-olds. That issue was well rehearsed in a debate a couple of weeks ago. I agree with much of what the First Minister said in her speech about Europe last week, including what she said about more freedom in relation to public health measures. I agree with what Kezia Dugdale said a few days ago: EU citizens should have the right to vote in this referendum. We need to say over and over again how much we value the contribution that EU citizens have made to this country during the course of this century—and before, of course, although it is in this century that they have come in larger numbers. Some 170,000 people in this country—some of the best people I know—are from the European Union. I will not name them personally to spare them embarrassment.

          We should remember what Fiona Hyslop said about the paper from University College London. I would like to read extracts from it, but because speeches have had to be shortened, I cannot. The title is “Positive economic impact of UK immigration from the European Union: new evidence” and it was published on 5 November 2014. Everybody should read that, given the myths that we hear.

          Of course if there is undercutting of the minimum wage or other employment conditions, and European citizens are used to do that, we must make sure that the law is enforced; there must be no undercutting—although that of course is the fault of employers, not European citizens themselves.

          As the cabinet secretary said, we need to focus in the next few weeks and months on the big picture and the current benefits of being a member of the European Union and not become obsessed with the changes, which will possibly not be all that major, which will cause problems in the Conservative Party.

          The economic arguments are clear. Half of UK exports are to the European Union. It is the largest single market in the world and if we leave there will be implications for jobs and foreign direct investment.

          We do not always agree with the direction of economic policy in Europe. In the recent election, Labour said that we would work to focus the EU on jobs and growth, and I am sure that we would all agree with that. Contrary to the line taken by Jamie McGrigor, Labour was proud to sign the social chapter in 1997. We could list many things that have sprung from that: the 48-hour maximum working week; minimum annual leave; extended maternity leave; new rights to request flexible working; holiday pay; and the same rights for part-time and full-time workers.

          Environmental progress has resulted from Europe, with massive reductions in SO2 emissions, basic rules on the cleanliness of beaches and now concerted action on climate change—I could go on.

          On consumer rights, EU laws provide for a refund or other remedies for consumers in cases involving defective products. The cabinet secretary mentioned structural funds amounting to €985 million, and university funding won by Scottish universities amounting to €572 million—other figures could be given.

          The whole issue of research collaboration featured in a recent debate. I talked about collaboration on renewable energy—it could have been on many subjects.

          The EU arrest warrant makes it easier to return fugitives for trial and of course there is our commitment to the European Court of Human Rights.

          There are many positive arguments for Europe, but at the end of the day let us also put some emotion into the debate. There is an emotional case for Europe. Let us remember that the origins of the European Community after the war were to prevent any future wars in Europe, and many Conservatives were fully signed up for that at the time. Let us put forward a positive and emotional case for Europe and enjoy doing so over the next few months.

          15:08  
        • Stewart Maxwell (West Scotland) (SNP):

          I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak in today’s important debate on the forthcoming EU referendum. It is now 40 years since the UK voted in favour of continuing its membership of the European Community when over 17 million voters across the UK said yes to Europe.

          Like many in the chamber, I was too young back then to participate in what was the first ever referendum to be held across all four nations of the UK, but I am grateful that the voters made a positive choice to remain part of the common market. I believe that Scotland and the UK have benefited greatly from membership of the EU in the intervening 40 years.

          More recently, I am proud to have been part of the yes campaign arguing in favour of Scotland’s independence. Although I am disappointed by the outcome, I felt privileged to have been part of a campaign that energised Scottish voters like never before. With the eyes of the world on Scotland, we held a democratic debate that resulted in an unprecedented level of voter engagement. I hope that we can build on that in the coming months, as the EU referendum campaign gathers momentum. I agree with Malcolm Chisholm: it is an emotional debate that should inspire passion in all of us. I look forward to that debate.

          The UK Government has published its bill on the European Union referendum and I am extremely disappointed—like many others, I am sure—to note that the proposed franchise does not include votes for 16 and 17-year-olds. I am a member of the Devolution (Further Powers) Committee and much of our work has focused on the success of 16 and 17-year-olds being able to vote in the independence referendum. Whether campaigning for yes or no, young people in schools and at work led the way in debating the big issues on independence in an intelligent and civilised manner. It was inspiring to see the energy and passion with which many of Scotland’s young people articulated their views throughout the campaign.

          We are using the powers of this Parliament to bring forward proposals to lower the voting age for all future Scottish Parliament and local authority elections, which I know have cross-party support.

        • Neil Findlay:

          Will the member give way?

        • Stewart Maxwell:

          I am sorry; I do not have the time in my five minutes.

          The case for entrusting 16 and 17-year-olds with a vote in the EU referendum is overwhelming. To deny our young people a say is undemocratic, and I urge Opposition MSPs to lobby their colleagues at Westminster to support the SNP amendment to ensure that 16 and 17-year-olds are able to take part in the vote.

          I watched with interest last week when the First Minister spoke so passionately in support of the European Union at the European Policy Centre in Brussels. The First Minister rightly highlighted the EU’s considerable achievements over the past 60 years, in particular the role it has had to play in promoting peace, reconciliation and democracy across Europe. Economic arguments are often the focus of the EU question, but the award in 2012 of the Nobel peace prize to the EU perhaps demonstrates its most important achievement. On presenting the award, the Norwegian Nobel committee highlighted the stabilising role the EU has played in

          “transforming most of Europe from a continent of war to a continent of peace.”

          Helping to facilitate peace and reconciliation in post-war Europe is something of true worth.

          As other members have said, it is estimated that more than 170,000 people born elsewhere in the EU now call Scotland home. Like others I have grown concerned about the apparent demonisation of EU migrants by certain sections of the media. Indeed, evidence shows that EU migrants bring significant economic and social benefits to our communities. A study by the University College London found that skilled EU migrants have provided an extra £20 billion to the UK economy over the past decade, by paying more in taxes than they take in benefits.

          Some people forget that we are all able to benefit from the right to free movement in the EU, which has enabled thousands of Scots to travel and make new lives for themselves in countries all across Europe. Listening to Eurosceptics we would think that it is all one-way traffic, but we only have to travel to France, Spain or Italy—not to mention other European countries—to find many people from the UK who have settled in those countries quite happily.

          There are considerable advantages to membership of the EU, but that is not to say that the European Union is not without its flaws. Reform is needed, though I believe that significant improvements can be made within the existing treaty framework. It is only by being a constructive member of the EU that we can successfully influence its legislation and policies.

          My experience as one of the Parliament’s representatives on the EU Committee of the Regions has led me to conclude that more needs to be done to give the Scottish Parliament and regional Parliaments in Europe a greater voice in the EU decision-making process. Scotland is active at the EU level, but it cannot exercise full influence in the European Council. The EU certainly has its challenges to face. Reform is needed, but I believe strongly that Scotland’s interests are best served by working constructively with our partners and allies within the EU, rather than being on the periphery.

          Others have spoken of the importance of the double-majority safeguard to ensure that Scotland, or any other nation of the UK, cannot be forced out of the EU against its will. As a multinational state, such a scenario is not unforeseeable and would undoubtedly have major constitutional implications. If those advocating withdrawal from the EU are so confident in their arguments, they should have nothing to fear from putting in place this democratic safeguard. Indeed, they should embrace it whole-heartedly.

          15:14  
        • David Stewart (Highlands and Islands) (Lab):

          Just over four decades ago I had my first vote in a referendum when I voted yes to staying in the European Economic Community. Britain’s relationship with Europe has provided some rough sailing for political parties and leaders—even for renowned yachtsman Ted Heath, who navigated the UK into the Common Market in 1973.

          French President de Gaulle had rebuffed Britain on several previous occasions and had formed a powerful alliance with Germany. Stewart Stevenson was right to point out the contribution that Churchill made after the war as leader of the Opposition to ensure that there was a wider voice for Europeans and for Britain in Europe.

          The referendum in 1975 was a clear victory for continued membership, with 67 per cent of the vote saying yes. However, the campaign was not a cosy one to run for Harold Wilson, who was the Prime Minister at the time. He had agreed that his Cabinet members were free from ministerial collective responsibility, and left-wing firebrand Tony Benn was a leading light in the no campaign. Perhaps the Wilson diaries should be required reading for the current Prime Minister.

          John Major’s election victory surprised many commentators, and his time as leader was characterised by well-organised guerrilla tactics by a significant group of Eurosceptics who opposed the Maastricht agreement. That, along with black Wednesday, was undoubtedly a factor in Labour’s landslide victory in 1997.

          I welcome this debate, and I support the thrust of the cabinet secretary’s motion. I welcome and endorse the idea that 16 and 17-year-olds and, of course, all EU citizens, should have a vote. In the restricted time that I have for my speech, I will touch briefly on a case study of how the EU works in practice to benefit Scotland generally, and my region—the Highlands and Islands—specifically. I am referring to the economic and social benefits of EU structural funds. I could have focused on other benefits of membership including energy security, international trade and social protection for workers, or on the benefits for business—given that the EU provides the market for almost half our international exports, thereby supporting more than 300,000 jobs in Scotland.

          Structural funds have been vital for the Highlands and Islands. In the current programme, we received approximately €192 million of the €985 million for the whole of Scotland. That is not a paternalistic sop from Eurocrats, but a crucial economic tool to ensure that my region levers up to the EU average. It provides planning and economic opportunities to exploit emerging sectors including life sciences, renewable energy and the creative industries.

          Transition region status—as Jamie McGrigor pointed out—helps my region to overcome natural handicaps and allows it to work with the rest of Scotland in contributing to the EU 2020 goals of promoting smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth within the EU economy.

          Just for the record, I want to highlight—as other members have mentioned—that I am not claiming that the EU is perfect. We need reform, of course, but I believe that that is possible within the treaty framework, rather than through treaty change. There are two areas that we need to look at. First, the EU should focus on economic and social policies that make a real difference to ordinary hard-working families. Secondly, regulatory reform is crucial—for example, in the common fisheries policy. We need more decisions to be made at region level, and the key principles must be proportionality and subsidiarity.

          I will focus briefly on EU migrants and access to the welfare system. As Daniel Kenealy of the University of Edinburgh said in evidence to the European and External Relations Committee this month, the issue is crucial for the UK Government—in his words, “Everything else is garnish.” He makes a sound argument with the following points: most migrants in the UK come from outside the EU; it is a two-way street and many UK citizens live and work across the EU; and EU migrants contribute more to the UK economy in taxes than they take out.

          Perhaps in winding up the cabinet secretary can say whether there are any plans to reintroduce the Labour and Lib Dem fresh talent working in Scotland scheme, or can inform us of its current status.

          I am conscious of time, Presiding Officer, so I will just say that the referendum on the future of EU membership in 2017—or whenever it will be—is yet another crucial step on the rocky road that has characterised the debate over the past 10 years and beyond. No one is arguing that the EU is perfect or beyond reform, but it is a force for good for jobs, services and workers’ rights, and we must at all costs avoid the retreat to the margins and wastelands that withdrawal would be.

          15:19  
        • Roderick Campbell (North East Fife) (SNP):

          Forty years ago, Scotland, and indeed the UK, had just experienced the first EU referendum, at a time when the governing party was divided on the issue and the nature of the negotiations that were being carried out by the Government of the day were not entirely clear: no change there.

          Of course, much has changed. A Europe of nine member states has become one of 28. Scotland was more Eurosceptic then than the rest of the UK, but now the reverse is true. My party has fully embraced the European Union, has recognised its importance to Scotland and, in contrast with the 1975 Government, Government ministers are not to be free to campaign on either side—or at least that seemed to be the position, until last night.

          Whatever the merits of another referendum, we are likely to have one. Therefore, it seems to be appropriate to make the referendum one in which the public can engage as fully as they did in the Scottish referendum. That surely ought to mean not only votes for 16 and 17-year-olds but for people from other European states, whose citizens live among us, as well as for EU citizens from Cyprus, Malta and Ireland.

          An irony of the debate is that, at the same time as the Westminster Government is saying no to votes for colleagues including Christian Allard, it is proposing legislation known as the “votes for life bill” to extend the franchise to UK citizens who have not lived in the UK for 15 years or more. Whatever their historic ties to the UK, it cannot be said that they would likely be directly affected in the way that Mr Allard will be affected if the decision is taken by the UK to pull out of the EU. I know that that legislation will not impact on the referendum if it is passed, but it suggests the UK Government’s direction of travel.

          The Scottish Government has proposed the double lock, so that Scotland cannot be pulled out of Europe against her will. The United Kingdom has no written constitution; other states, such as Canada, do. In Canada, all federal states must agree to any proposal on the monarchy. Such protection for a country’s constituent parts is not unknown. I am heartened that the SNP amendment at Westminster today has support from both Wales and Northern Ireland.

          The EU is important to Scotland. In 2013, it was the destination for 46 per cent of Scotland’s total exports, and 300,000 jobs depend on it. There are frustrations with the EU and it needs reform: subsidiarity and proportionality must be given much greater respect, and the importance that is given to subsidiarity in the treaty of Lisbon must be adhered to.

          Red tape should be reduced and we need clarification of how the relationship between countries in the euro zone and those outside it should work, in order to ensure that the interests of those on the outside are fully protected. Surely wanting to reform from within is a more credible position than being perceived to be negotiating from within, but with one hand on the exit door?

          Last week, we heard evidence in the European and External Relations Committee that negotiations may not be straightforward. Professor Keating of the University of Aberdeen and the Economic and Social Research Council centre on constitutional change said, in relation to welfare benefits:

          “If Britain starts trying to restrict things, there will certainly be reciprocal action against British citizens elsewhere.”

          Dr Daniel Kenealy of the University of Edinburgh’s academy of government said:

          “If there is a dialogue between the UK and Europe about reforming the European Union for the benefit of everybody ... the public may have more of an appetite for a longer debate, as opposed to what would happen if the debate is presented as a battle with Europe.”—[Official Report, European and External Relations Committee, 4 June 2015; c 17-18.]

          A battle with Europe might suit some people on the Tory right, but I question whether it would, ultimately, benefit the United Kingdom.

          We must ensure that the debate extends beyond the question whether removing in-work benefits would require treaty change, to a debate about what Europe is for and what type of Europe we want. Do we want to see a UK that turns its back on fellow Europeans and that refuses to provide financial assistance to Greece, Spain and Portugal, as John Redwood and the Tory right believe? Do we want a UK that turns its back on the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean or do we want one that recognises that the issue is not just a problem for Italy, Malta and Greece, but for Europe as a whole? Do we want a UK that wants to roll back its employment and social protection and instead to seek to protect the City and its financial services industry, and which is reluctant to curb its bankers’ bonuses?

          The UK Government talks tough on Europe, but its actions suggest that it does not understand Europe fully. The Tory and Liberal coalition started a balance of competence review, which was a review of what the EU does and how it affects us in the UK. Its purpose was to inform debate but not to draw conclusions. It was concluded in December 2014. In March, the House of Lords EU Select Committee said:

          “It has so far made no impact on the public debate on the UK-EU relationship.”

          As Professor Keating said:

          “the review did not find any competences that could be appropriately repatriated to the United Kingdom”—[Official Report, European and External Relations Committee, 4 June 2015; c 3.]

          Last week in Brussels, the First Minister said:

          “Scotland has much to offer the EU, but we have also much to learn.”

          I hope that the UK Government will heed those words. The alternative—Fortress Britannia—is not a prospect that I, for one, would welcome.

          15:25  
        • Christian Allard (North East Scotland) (SNP):

          You will not be surprised, Presiding Officer, to hear that I will be supporting the Scottish Government tonight, especially because I feel that I am being isolated by the proposed legislation. I am not alone, however; many EU citizens live in Scotland and the UK, so I feel that we have not yet seen the end of the matter. The franchise that has been designed by the Conservatives will be challenged not only at Westminster and in this Parliament, but outside, as it should be.

          We must send a strong message from this chamber—a message of solidarity to amend the UK Government’s European Union Referendum Bill. A lot of my colleagues have used quotations, so perhaps I will use one too. Many of my constituents and people in the north-east are quite surprised when they hear that, as things stand, I will not have a vote in the referendum that could take us out of the EU. One person from Aberdeenshire East said this morning:

          “I go to Christian Allard whenever I have difficulties in my constituency, and he is to be denied a vote.”

          That was, of course, our former First Minister, Alex Salmond. That is not the first time he has mentioned the issue in the House of Commons, and he is not the only one who is doing so.

          It is important to understand that the issue is not only about EU nationals who are resident in the UK; it is also about 16 and 17-year-olds. We should all be included in the franchise. When the referendum takes place, imagine if people such as me and young people of 16 and 17 go to the polling station on polling day because we have not heard about the franchise. People will stand in front of the table and see a list that will, of course, include their names because they were allowed to vote in other elections. Those people will be denied a vote and that should not be so. That should not be right.

          My first vote in a referendum was in 1997 for this Parliament. Thereafter I voted in every Scottish election—particularly in every European election—and, of course, I voted last year. This is not a question of denying people a vote that they have never had; it is to deny them a vote that they have enjoyed. I have spent most of my life living and working in Scotland, but more important is that I have been voting here. It is the same for 16 and 17-year-olds. They voted for the first time last year, and this Parliament has decided that they can vote in every Scottish parliamentary election. It is important to keep those people engaged and locked in, and to ensure that they get engaged in the democratic process. There is no point asking somebody to go to a polling station one day but not to go on another day. We all went voting last year. We will vote in 2016 and the Scottish election, but if the referendum happens in 2017, we will not be allowed to vote in it. That does not make sense at all in a modern 21st-century Scotland.

          This is a matter of respect, so I absolutely agree with the Scottish Government about the double-majority clause. We need that to ensure that no UK nation will be pulled out of the European Union against its democratic will. We heard about the family of nations—Christina McKelvie reminded us of that. This is also about EU citizenship and respect not only for this nation—Scotland—but for our EU partners. We do not know what we are going to vote on. We do not know whether I will be able to vote. Negotiations have not taken place, and we do not know what the agenda will be. I feel for the people who will be allowed to vote and who have to think about it in the coming year because they have no idea what they are to vote on. This is about democracy, inclusion and respect.

          A lot of EU nationals—there are 90,000 in Scotland and 1.5 million across the UK—have seen me as a voice for them and for the disenfranchised, and I can understand that. A lot of petitions online will encourage members to join them.

          I go back to what I said earlier about the European Union Referendum Bill. It is not yet certain whether we will be allowed to vote under clause 2(1)(a). I think that there is a misunderstanding there, but there is no misunderstanding about paragraph (b), however. It appears that I am not allowed to vote, but that members of the House of Lords are. I end on that archaic and absolutely undemocratic approach to how we should conduct ourselves in the 21st century.

          15:30  
        • Siobhan McMahon (Central Scotland) (Lab):

          On 1 November 2013, I was pleased to have the opportunity to lodge a motion before Parliament noting the 20th anniversary of the formal establishment of the European Union in its current guise. In the nearly 22 years that have followed its establishment, the EU has not got everything right, but I believe that few members would argue that we are anything but better off for it. I know that I can go anywhere in the Central Scotland region and it will not take me long to find projects and communities that EU funding has helped.

          That is why I thank the cabinet secretary and the Government for securing this debate to allow us to discuss the merits of our continued membership of the European Union. Free movement of trade has enhanced our society and enriched our culture as well as our exports. Free movement of labour is often criticised by politicians and political commentators alike but, as a McMahon, it would be sheer hypocrisy for me to come here today with anything but praise for it and for the contribution that European migrants have made to Scotland.

          It was a great Scot and European, Robin Cook MP, who, as the first Labour Foreign Secretary for 18 years, opted into the European Union’s social chapter. That was one of the first decisions that was taken by the last Labour Government, and it was also one of the most important. Older or, shall I say, more experienced colleagues may recall that the social chapter was described in 1989 by none other than the then Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, as

          “a throwback to a Marxist period, a class struggle period”.

          Those of us who value the contributions of trade unions ought to be concerned about the plans that her ideological successors have for the social chapter and for workers rights. Their Dickensian proposals for strike ballots suggest that they will not miss an opportunity to target the Labour movement.

          It is very important that we remain vigilant to the danger of Cameron and co negotiating away any hard-won rights that they can. We cannot allow the rollback of health and safety at work laws to be painted as a victory for Britain. If they try to take Britain out of the EU-wide laws on working time, it will be our responsibility to inform the public that it is European laws that limit the amount of time that people can be obligated to work by their employer to 48 hours a week, and that guarantee the right to a paid holiday. Employees whose company changes hands automatically retain the same conditions that they had under their previous employers, and those in large companies are granted a voice in the workplace through the European works councils.

          The gains of the trade union movement throughout Europe, which are enacted in law in much of the EU’s social agenda, allow our workers to be more secure in their jobs. The values that are thus espoused and the rights that are created are incompatible with the agenda of the Conservative Government, which—even when it was constrained by the Liberal Democrats—enacted charges against employees who were trying to take their employers to work tribunals and encouraged workers to sell their labour rights for shares.

          I welcome the pro-European tone of the cabinet secretary and of many members who have spoken today, but I suggest that they ought to tread carefully with some of their statements so as not to inflame anti-EU rhetoric. When I say that I am thinking in particular about their justification for voting against Labour amendments to force private companies that are working on public sector contracts to pay their staff the living wage.

          Only a few weeks ago, the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, told BBC Radio Scotland’s “Good Morning Scotland” that it was European law that meant that her party could not support Scottish Labour proposals under the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Bill last year. At the time, the noted solicitors, Thompsons, submitted a report to the Parliament stating how enshrining the living wage in procurement reform was possible. Trade unionists Dave Moxham and Dave Watson, who I am sure are respected across the chamber, have written about how our Parliament could enact such legislation if the will was there. If that was not enough, the First Minister’s claim had already been dismissed by the EU when the previous First Minister made it.

          The EU referendum is an opportunity to have a debate about our rights, about jobs and about Scotland’s place in the world. It is not an opportunity for political parties to try to justify their past mistakes. The EU did not force the Government to vote down the living wage. In the run-up to the referendum there will be enough people who are willing to throw stones at the EU and to do down the very real contributions that it makes to our daily lives. It is important that those of us who consider ourselves pro-European rally round the organisation and do not pass on the blame to the EU in order to make our own political lives that bit easier.

          It is important that we recognise that Europe does not curtail the legislative ambitions of individual member states, but rather sets a minimum standard for others to follow. That is particularly true in consideration of the impact of European legislation on the rights of female workers. The EU ensures that its members must give both parents the right to time off when a child is born or adopted. EU laws reverse the burden of proof in discrimination cases and give part-time and temporary workers the same legal rights as full-time workers with respect to leave, maternity rights, pensions and training.

          I am very pleased by the broad consensus in favour of continuing membership of the EU, and I look forward to campaigning with colleagues to retain not only our membership of the organisation but the benefits that workers in Scotland get from it.

          15:35  
        • Willie Coffey (Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley) (SNP):

          Scotland has a long, historical and independent connection with Europe that predates the union with England—indeed, the alliance with France up to 1560 lasted for nearly 200 years—and it is still going strong.

          Our universities have always had close ties with Europe and our people settled there long before there was a European Union. Currently, more than 300,000 Scottish jobs depend on our membership of the single market, which, with its 500 million citizens, is the biggest in the world.

          As Scottish parliamentarians, our task is to protect and nurture that legacy, and to not allow our country’s aspirations to be limited or dictated to by the negative anti-European agenda that has brought the referendum to the table. That is why it is crucial that the UK negotiating position must be representative of the whole of the UK and not just the fears of the Tory party in England. We are told that we are a family of nations, so the UK must respect that and seek to deliver positive changes that address particular circumstances that are important to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as to England.

          Dr Eve Hepburn of the University of Edinburgh, who is a contributor to the European and External Relations Committee, warned:

          “It appears that the interests of the devolved administrations have been overlooked in the case of the UK’s current efforts to renegotiate the UK’s terms of agreement ... despite the impact that this will undoubtedly have on their interests and competences.”

          We cannot allow that to happen. Surely the joint ministerial committee on Europe cannot continue to meet simply to listen to the devolved Administrations’ issues and then ignore them. It must form a genuine UK position that reflects all our interests. One way of bringing that about might be for the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Administrations to meet to find some common ground on which to negotiate. I am sure that our Scottish Government will be keen to take that forward.

          On the question of the double majority, why is it that the position of Scotland and Wales is supported by the Labour First Minister of Wales, yet Scottish Labour cannot even bring itself to support its own country’s interests?

        • Claire Baker:

          Will the member take an intervention?

        • Willie Coffey:

          No, thank you—I have only five minutes.

          If England votes to leave the EU and Scotland votes to stay in, Scottish Labour will be happy to see Scotland being dragged out of Europe, which would have a disastrous impact on Scottish jobs. In any case, the double-majority idea provides the UK with the opportunity to really demonstrate that it meant what it said in its family of nations sermon. When we think about it, we realise that it provides the Prime Minister with a valuable insurance policy in the event that he cannot persuade voters in England to stay in the EU.

          The referendum must not be a vote that is determined by the larger nation’s voter numbers; all the nations must have an equal voice, otherwise there will be no union.

          Dr Dan Kenealy, who is a regular and welcome contributor to the European and External Relations Committee, described the issue of EU migrants to the UK as

          “the set piece of the renegotiation drama”

          and said—as David Stewart mentioned—that everything else was “garnish”. Voters—particularly those in England—need to know that migration is a two-way relationship, that most migrants to the UK come from outside the EU and that EU migrants contribute more to the UK economy in taxes than they take out.

          Dr Kenealy went on to remind us that the European Court of Justice has made it clear that anyone who moves to another country simply to claim benefits is not entitled to do so, so it would be ridiculous if people in England voted to leave the EU because they objected to EU migrants coming to England to work or look for work, or to study. All the political parties must be clear on that and make sure that people have the facts.

          Dr Kenealy said that the UK Government’s aims in this area

          “would require the UK to amend, or secure an opt-out from, EU directives ... concerned with free movement and ... social security systems”,

          but that carries the risk that any changes could fall foul of the Court of Justice. That takes us more towards treaty reform as a means of securing any changes free from interference from the court, but we know that there is no appetite for that, particularly when Mr Juncker has expressly ruled that out as far as free movement is concerned. There is no time to effect the treaty changes, not to mention the referendums that would be required in other member states.

          Where do we go from here? Our other guest at the European and External Relations Committee, David Frost, a former diplomat with considerable experience, said that we might be heading for a classic euro fudge, with the EU appearing to concede, or be willing to offer, major reforms down the line and Mr Cameron trumpeting those as sufficient gains to enable him to recommend a yes vote. Meanwhile, the interests of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland being sidelined because of a euro fudge to save the skin of the Tories does not sound to me to be a recipe to keep the union ticking over. Scotland’s interests must be protected and Scottish MSPs must stand up for Scotland if England votes no.

          15:40  
        • Patrick Harvie (Glasgow) (Green):

          I admit that, like others, I was not a wild enthusiast for the idea of a referendum on European Union membership, but I acknowledge it as a reality. Malcolm Chisholm described it as being perhaps a “destructive Conservative psychodrama”. Well, I suppose we can only hope, but let us not be complacent that that will be the consequence.

          In the run-up to and during the campaign, the Greens will make a case for continued membership of the European Union. Greens throughout these islands will make that case but it will be a distinctive case and very different from the case that Mr Cameron will make if he comes back from the European Union with a package of reforms that are pro free market and pro big business. He will set out a very different kind of Europe from the one that I wish to live in.

          There is a great deal to be proud of about the social and environmental protections that have been achieved across the European Union, but they involve precisely the kind of regulations that many on the Conservative right wish to ditch. They want a Europe of free markets; I want a Europe of social and environmental protection. We will make a case for membership of the EU, but we have a much deeper case to win on progressive economics within the European Union, the protection of human rights, a humane society and opposing the idea that free markets should be a policy priority for the European Union but that people should be not free but subjected to humiliating welfare policies designed to remove their ability to decide where they want to move to. The idea that capital is freer than people in the European Union is a recipe for even deeper exploitation.

          If I understood correctly Mr Findlay’s point in the exchange that he had with Mr Rennie earlier, he was arguing that countries like Greece are threatened not by the European Union per se but by its obsession with austerity and free-market economics.

        • Neil Findlay:

          I was just going to make the point that the free movement of capital and labour is not being done in the interests of people but in the interests of capital—that is the whole problem that we have.

        • Patrick Harvie:

          I agree with Mr Findlay.

          Is there a case for reform of the European Union? Of course there is, but I would like to see a reform agenda that is led by a focus on citizens’ democracy within the European Union and taking some power away from the unelected Commission and asserting that the European Union is a union of European citizens, not a union of European Governments. We must put power in the hands of voters and their directly elected representatives, rather than in those of Governments and their appointees.

          There is also a case for reform of the area of corporate lobbying, which has far too powerful an influence at European level, and of competition law, which all too often restricts the ability of Governments to protect the common good of their citizens.

          Moving on to the rules by which the referendum will be conducted, I agree with the comments that have been made about EU citizens having the right to vote and, of course, 16 and 17-year-olds having that right. After the experience of the independence referendum, the only argument against 16 and 17-year-olds having the ability to vote is based on a fear of young people’s democratic empowerment. That is the only basis on which those in the Conservative Party oppose it.

          On the date of the referendum, there has been opposition to the suggestion—it might be receding now, but we should kill it off for good—that the referendum might clash with the Holyrood election. Although my amendment was not selected for debate and I suspect that the Labour amendment might not find its way into the final resolution at the end of the day, I suggest to the cabinet secretary that the political parties in the Scottish Parliament write jointly to the Prime Minister making clear the absolute unacceptability of any clash with the Scottish Parliament election.

          As for the proposal of a double majority, I am open to hearing the argument for it, but I am a little sceptical. First, I am not convinced that it is realistic. The rules of a referendum have to be agreed by all sides, and I just do not see that it is likely that the other side of the border or the other side of the debate will agree to the double-majority proposal.

          Secondly, I am not convinced that it is necessarily fair. I can see why it might seem so from a Scottish perspective, but if Scotland voted to stay in and England voted to leave, the question is still whether the UK as a whole stays or leaves, and I am not sure that there is a consistent answer to that question.

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:

          You must conclude.

        • Patrick Harvie:

          Thirdly, it strikes me as a potential distraction from the priority on which we should all be united, which is making the case for the whole of these islands—Scotland and the rest of the UK—to remain a part of the European Union. For that reason, I think that we should focus on making that argument.

          15:46  
        • Stewart Stevenson (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP):

          It might be just as well for me to declare at the outset a personal and family interest, since my niece, who is a scientist, lives and works in Sweden. Jo enjoys her time there, and Jamie, my nephew, lives and works in Denmark, where he is a teacher. I have a great-nephew and a great-niece who, in Danish, are halfdan—in other words, they are half-Danish and half-Scots. If it had not been for the freedom to go and work in Europe without any great difficulty, I suspect that the history of my family in modern times might have been a bit different.

          We have heard a bit about who can vote. The answer for Christian Allard is extremely straightforward. The Liberal party has eight members of the House of Commons and 101 members of the House of Lords. Pro rata, that means that the SNP can appoint probably 707 members to the House of Lords, and I propose that Christian Allard be the first of them, because he will then meet the necessary requirements to allow him to vote.

          Let us go a bit deeper into the bill that the Tories have brought before us. We discover some interesting things. While Christian Allard might not be allowed to vote, he is allowed to be a permitted participant for the referendum. He can register a campaign, contribute all his worldly wealth, go into hock if he wishes, and campaign for a particular result. By the way, that provision includes 16 and 17-year-olds. They can establish campaigns and be permitted participants. They are allowed to influence the outcome but not to be part of the outcome. That is a quite bizarre way of bringing forward legislation. Christian Allard would consider the matter carefully and cast his vote appropriately, and that would be true of many of our citizens.

          Even more bizarre, we come to the situation of the citizens of Gibraltar, who are allowed to vote in European elections in the extended constituency of South West England. They will be allowed to vote in the referendum. That is fascinating. By the way, peers who are not even UK or EU citizens but who are electors in the City of London will be entitled to vote.

          The bill—this tawdry piece of paper from the Tory Government—is riddled with inconsistencies. It denies the vote to citizens of Europe who have the greatest stake in the referendum and who contribute mightily to the economies of the UK and of Scotland, while many of the parasites—simply by owning property in the City of London—can participate and set up campaigns on whichever side of the argument they are on. A totally bizarre bill is before us.

          I do not stand before members as an uncritical supporter of the EU. Representing fishermen in Scotland, I of course share with them the discomfort that, when a fishing boat that is registered in Scotland goes out, it is covered by our regulations, but it can be alongside and in the same place off our shores as, for example, a Spanish boat that is working to different legislation. We have to fix that, but we can do that and we are making some progress.

          I am going to really live dangerously. Last week, I lived dangerously when I quoted Alastair Campbell, who spoke excellent sense when he described Charles Kennedy as somebody who spoke “human”. However, I am going to go even further and quote Margaret Thatcher, which is really living dangerously.

          In June 1975, in the debate after the result of the previous European referendum, Margaret Thatcher said:

          “we join”

          the Prime Minister

          “in rejoicing”—

          that was a favourite word of hers—

          “over this excellent result ... We are particularly pleased ... with the strong ‘Yes’ from each of the”

          constituent nations

          “of the United Kingdom”.—[Official Report, House of Commons, 9 June 1975; Vol 893, c 31.]

          She recognised the importance of achieving that support from each of the constituent nations. Perhaps the Tories should consider what their dear leader said in 1975 when considering the position that they now wish to take.

          I hope that the Labour and Liberal amendments resonate around the chamber but, because they would delete important things from the Government’s motion, I suspect that we will not support them. For my part, I would be happy to support their contents, if not their deletions.

          15:51  
        • Hanzala Malik (Glasgow) (Lab):

          Good afternoon, Presiding Officer. The Prime Minister, David Cameron, is attempting to renegotiate the terms of the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union ahead of a referendum in 2017. As we all know, at the top of Cameron’s list of demands for renegotiation in the EU is addressing freedom of movement and migrant rights.

          The debate has been dominated by the issue of immigration. However, the relationship with the European Union is complex. Alongside the freedom of movement in the European Union that citizens of member states have, there is free trade. European Union membership also provides a wide range of rights and responsibilities, and funding streams that Scottish institutions can access.

          In recent years, other European member states have elected Eurosceptic parties, and there is definitely a climate for reform, but the wish for proper democratic accountability for decisions and the difficulties of implementing the so-called yellow card mechanism to block European Commission proposals require informed discussion. Unfortunately, the tone of the public debate in recent years has been quite the opposite of that. European Union migrants have become the bogeyman to blame for anything from housing shortages to littering in our streets. That has been stoked by UKIP and the anti-immigration media. As I have said before, a lot of the anti-immigration rhetoric is basically racism, and it shows its true colours.

          Various statistics show that European migrants contribute more to our economy. I do not need to repeat that, as several MSPs have mentioned it.

          The Scottish Government frequently states that Scotland has a different approach to immigration, but that is not really backed up by any evidence. Research by the University of Oxford’s migration observatory revealed that the majority of Scots support a reduction in immigration. Some 58 per cent of the population feel that way. However, that figure is lower than the figure for England and Wales, which is 75 per cent. That speaks volumes in itself.

          It is worth repeating that there is no point in the Scottish Government saying that we want more immigrants to come to Scotland if we are not actively combating the racism in our society.

          I turn to the proposal that there should be a double majority. Dr Daniel Kenealy from the University of Edinburgh’s academy of government made a point very well. In his submission to the European and External Relations Committee, he stated:

          “It would be useful if the Scottish Government could be clearer about what, if any, distinct and specific interests Scotland has in this process as opposed to repeatedly calling for a multiple-veto lock.”

          Those are interesting comments from Dr Kenealy. Perhaps the cabinet secretary can address them and give us some clarity on her thoughts. Every time that I have asked her searching questions, I have had silence, rather than an answer, but I hope that I will get some answers today.

          We have to be clear about our direction of travel and where and how we want to go. At the moment we are trying to renegotiate, so it is important that we back our Government at this stage. If and when a referendum is needed, we should address that at that stage. I would also be interested to hear the cabinet secretary’s comments on how she plans to address the findings on immigration.

          15:56  
        • Willie Rennie:

          There have been some fine pro-Europe speeches from across the chamber. We have even heard words of praise about the European Union’s benefits from Conservative members, which I suspect might not be repeated too often by their colleagues south of the border. Nevertheless, there is some unity across the chamber.

          I draw attention to Stewart Maxwell’s comments on the Nobel peace prize and the fact that the European Union has helped to turn a continent of war into a continent of peace. He talked about peace, reconciliation and democracy. At the core of the European Union is that fundamental value and benefit that we have secured, and I thank Stewart Maxwell for his comments. Those who have lived in a European Union without war often take it for granted that it will always be so. We should not forget that the European Union has contributed significantly to that situation.

          I concluded my opening remarks with a plea to SNP members to focus on what unites, rather than divides, us. I am afraid that, apart from Stewart Maxwell, far too many SNP members sought to assert the position that the rest of the United Kingdom will vote to leave the European Union. That pessimism should be rejected. We should work together to ensure that we stay in the European Union. According to the polling over the past few decades, more often than not, Britain has been a pro-Europe nation—it has wanted to stay in, rather than get out.

          Of course, there are the Nigel Farages of the world. However, we should not make the mistake of assuming that everyone in England shares Nigel Farage’s views—far from it, which is why he suffered so badly in the recent general election. His support for a kind of anti-Europe scepticism was roundly rejected. We should take comfort from that and give more credit to people from across the United Kingdom for being pro Europe.

        • Neil Findlay:

          Will the member give way?

        • Willie Rennie:

          Not just now.

          Even the bookies reckon that Britain will stay in the European Union; they predict that we will all vote to stay in it. Rather than assuming that England and the rest of the United Kingdom will vote to leave, and therefore that we will have to have a get-out clause to stay in the EU, let us work together to build on the pro-Europe consensus that is developing across the UK.

          There have been a few references to Charles Kennedy today. Back in 2013 he said something that was particularly prescient:

          “Now more than ever, membership of a strong, confident, effective and outward-looking European Union should be an absolute priority for all European nations. Playing games with something so important is dangerous and short-sighted.”

          I leave those words hanging for the SNP. Let us work together to stay in the European Union. It is of great benefit to us in Scotland as well as to the rest of the United Kingdom.

          I may come to regret this, but I reluctantly agree that Christian Allard should have a vote in the European referendum. I do not want this to be a precedent for all other situations. There may be occasions when I might want to prevent him from voting—particularly in the Scottish Parliament chamber—but on this occasion, and not just because we agree on the issue, I believe that he should have a vote. It may have consequences for those who vote in future general elections, which we need to consider, but we need to make sure that on this occasion—because of the effect that the referendum could have on EU citizens and on the rest of the EU—such EU citizens should have a vote.

          As a long-term advocate of votes at 16, I think that we should make that change too—I hope as a precursor to changes to the franchise across the UK for other elections. So far, there has been some resistance to that, particularly from the Conservative Party, but I hope that the referendum can be used as a battering ram to get the changes that we are all striving for in our democracy.

          The Liberal Democrats had been in favour of a referendum if powers were to be ceded to the EU, but we now accept that a referendum is on the way and we need to seize the opportunity to put the right case for the EU and for Britain’s place at the heart of it. Too often, we are timid about the benefits of the EU because we fear some people’s scepticism. We should be talking about the benefits of our influence in the world as a bloc of 500 million people—the influence that we can have for good, progressive politics around the world—and the benefits of the free movement of people within the continent of Europe; the economic single market; the common social and employment standards; and the efforts that the EU makes to tackle climate change.

          Those are the big goals that we can achieve through the European Union referendum debate. We all need to work together to seize that opportunity. Let us put that opportunity before people in Scotland so that they understand the benefits, including students being able to go to university in other parts of the continent without their education being disrupted.

          The fact that we can go to Spain to work for a time and that people from Spain can come and work here too is a shared benefit. Another benefit is that, if someone has a business here in Scotland, we can make sure that they can trade with people across the EU with as limited a number of barriers as possible. Those are big benefits that being in the EU can bring.

          The sharing of a common goal—the peace that we all sought so many decades ago and which we take for granted now—is something that we should work for, and work for together.

          16:02  
        • Alex Johnstone (North East Scotland) (Con):

          I thank all the members in the chamber who have taken the opportunity to tell me what I think. The truth is that while I still have the freedom to do so under this fairly centralising authoritarian Government, I will decide what I think, and I think that the Conservative Party has an excellent record with regard to its engagement with the European Union.

          We were not in at the ground floor—we were not part of the European Coal and Steel Community; we were not part of the original six. However, we very quickly took the opportunity—once we had seen the passing of Charles de Gaulle—to get ourselves into that European union. Of course, it was a Conservative Prime Minister who was responsible for taking this country into the EU.

          In fact, there have been many times when certain political parties in this country have decided that either a substantial part of their membership or their entire active membership should campaign against our presence in Europe. The Conservative Party is no different and, as we go forward towards the referendum, there will no doubt be Conservatives who campaign against our continued membership of the EU. However, there will no doubt be others in other political parties who will do the same.

          Let me address some of the things that have been discussed during the debate. Many have made the typical move to get right in there and express themselves in their own terms and on their own particular area of interest, but I hope that I can explain my views in a fairly simple way that is easy to understand.

          First, we are talking about a promise by David Cameron that he will renegotiate the terms of our membership and put that to the British people in a referendum—

        • Christian Allard:

          Will the member take an intervention?

        • Alex Johnstone:

          Excuse me—not at the moment.

          That referendum will be decided by a simple yes or no: we accept those terms or we reject them.

        • Fiona Hyslop:

          Will the member give way?

        • Alex Johnstone:

          No—not at the moment.

          We must not get confused about the fact that we are discussing the European Union. The suggestions that the debate should cover the European convention on human rights simply conflate two current issues that are not really related.

          A lot has been said about how many projects in the United Kingdom and Scotland have benefited from EU funding. However, that is something of a red herring given that, as one of the few net contributors to Europe, we actually pay for that funding, and then some, for other countries.

          We have heard about the importance of our economic connections and trade with Europe. However, figures have been skewed to prove arguments that cannot be proven. Although a high proportion of the material that Scotland produces and sells outside the United Kingdom goes to Europe, to achieve that high percentage figure, we must ignore the fact that the vast majority of Scotland’s trade is with the rest of the United Kingdom. In fact, in 2012-13, which is the latest year for which I have figures, we had £12.9 billion of trade with Europe but £46.2 billion of trade with the rest of the United Kingdom. That is an argument to remain part of the United Kingdom. It is also, I might suggest, an argument to remain part of the European Union. However, there is not one case for EU membership that is not at least a stronger case for continued UK membership, which puts the Scottish National Party in a position that it cannot defend.

          I will address a couple of other issues that have been central to the debate. The issue of the franchise is again something of a red herring in the argument. We in Scotland have argued that we should control the franchise for the Scottish Parliament and that we should decide who can vote in our elections. We have decided that we will include 16 and 17-year-olds. The Westminster Parliament has told us that we can have that power. Is it not therefore a little ironic that we should then want to decide how the Westminster Parliament controls its franchise? I say that that is its choice. If we wish to influence it, we should do so through the means that are available to us.

          I will address the issue of the double majority, as it has been described by many in the debate. I can remember 1979, when we had a referendum in Scotland in which a 40 per cent rule was applied. Under that rule, 40 per cent of the electorate had to vote in a particular direction before we could get a certain result. That was considered by many at the time to be inappropriate, which is why, during the Scottish referendum, the only test was a simple majority. If we had a double-majority rule under which all the nations in the United Kingdom were required to vote a particular way to achieve a certain outcome, that would introduce a hurdle that the SNP would find it would have to address when it inevitably brings back its referendum on Scottish independence.

          On immigration, I believe that eastern European immigrants are absolutely vital to the economy of the United Kingdom and particularly of Scotland.

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer (Elaine Smith):

          You must close, please.

        • Alex Johnstone:

          However, it is only fair that, if they come here, they should come to a job. For that reason, it is only appropriate that we should take action to prevent so-called benefits tourism.

        • The Deputy Presiding Officer:

          You must close, please.

        • Alex Johnstone:

          Willie Coffey told us that that does not happen, so no worries there, then.

          16:08  
        • Anne McTaggart (Glasgow) (Lab):

          The tenor of the majority of the debate has been that, for many reasons, it is in the interests of Scotland and the broader UK to remain in the EU. Many speakers have accepted that changes need to be made, but they have suggested that it would be easier to tackle those changes from within the EU. We are right to argue that Britain’s potential exit from the EU poses huge risks for British jobs, trade and investment. As many speakers have said, the EU is still by far our biggest export market. Tariff-free access to 500 million customers is hugely important for our businesses. Half our inward investment comes from the EU, and a significant proportion of investment from outside the EU is helped by our status as a gateway to the single market.

          It is not only about economics; it is also about security and values. With a proxy war taking place in Ukraine, it makes little sense for Britain to call for maximum European unity on sanctions for Russia and in the next breath threaten to leave the EU.

          The hard end of our security will continue to be provided by NATO, but we should not underestimate the importance of the shared values of peace, democracy and the peaceful resolution of disputes that are embodied by EU membership.

          We in the Labour Party support Britain’s membership in the European Union. Our hard-working members of the European Parliament are always at the heart of the decision-making processes in Brussels.

          The First Minister has argued that the four constituent parts of the UK should each have a veto—known as a double-lock system—in the referendum. However, the majority of the people in all four constitutive parts of the UK see the decision on the EU as one that should be taken by the population as whole and not by the separate parts. As a few members flagged up in their speeches, the double-lock proposal may come back to haunt us.

          A survey conducted by researchers at the University of Edinburgh suggests that the majority of people in Scotland—55 per cent—are in favour of the UK deciding on the future of its EU membership as a single political entity. We should recognise clearly the proposal for what it is: headline grabbing and issue deflecting. We cannot spend the next two years saying that Scotland’s voice is not being heard and that we are not being treated with respect by the UK Government.

          The First Minister has suggested that an EU referendum result in which Scotland votes yes and England votes no could trigger demands for a second independence referendum. We duly hope that that does not happen. We hope that Scotland is not forced to choose between two unions—our union with England, Wales and Northern Ireland and our union with our European partners. That is why we in Scottish Labour will spend all our time and energy making the positive case for EU membership both for Scotland and for the UK.

          The argument for staying in the EU will be about far more than what we politicians do in this Parliament. It will involve businesses, universities, people at work and people in all walks of life. I hope that it will include young people. There will be much debate about the details of the referendum over the coming weeks. We believe that 16 and 17-year-olds should be allowed to take part in the EU referendum. The picture from Scotland’s referendum was clear: 16 and 17-year-olds are a sophisticated, nuanced group of voters. They are engaged. They care just as much as those who are older and, as Siobhan McMahon kindly put it, “more experienced”. They most certainly deserve to be full participants.

          We in the Labour Party are also committed to letting EU citizens vote in the referendum. EU citizens who have decided to make the UK their home—who live here, work here, raise families here and pay taxes here—should be given the opportunity to vote on a matter of huge significance for the future.

          During the referendum we will make a positive, progressive case for continued membership while advocating, as a strong and active member, constructive reform of the EU from within the existing treaty framework. The notion of a double lock for the four parts of the UK might serve as a good headline, but it is not supported generally by people across the UK and it is a poor substitute for a genuine statement of aims.

          Labour is committed to doing all that we can to ensure that young people and EU citizens are allowed to vote in the referendum. I therefore fully support amendment in the name of my colleague Claire Baker.

          16:15  
        • The Minister for Europe and International Development (Humza Yousaf):

          I will start by adding the voice of the Scottish Government to that of Willie Rennie with regard to what he said about his late colleague, Charles Kennedy. Over the weekend, I shared a platform with Willie Rennie at the Pakistan Welfare Trust, when he described Charles Kennedy as having a “gentle voice of reason”. I think that all of us would have liked to have heard that gentle voice during the campaign in the weeks and months ahead.

          Today’s debate has been good, with excellent contributions. I did not mean to sound so surprised when I said that. We have heard excellent speeches on the benefits of the European Union to Scotland; many members have spoken about the business benefits, the economic benefits, the academic benefits, the social benefits and the democratic benefits. Malcolm Chisholm was exceptionally good when he noted that the facts and figures will get us only so far, and that the debate requires passion and emotion. That was interesting because we were told during the independence referendum that we should be looking at the issues through a rational and logical prism, and that emotion should be discarded. However, I agree with what Malcolm Chisholm had to say.

          Those who believe in the European Union agree, I think, that the campaign has to be positive. Although there are, of course, risks to leaving the European Union—many have been highlighted, including the risks to jobs, and various facts and figures have been mentioned—we would not do the campaign justice if we did not talk about the positives that a reformed EU could achieve and which are already achieved for the citizens of Scotland and the United Kingdom as a whole. As a side point, my view is that the campaign should not necessarily be led from the front by politicians or big businesses, because that can often put people off.

          Jamie McGrigor was right to suggest that it is healthy for us to question, criticise and analyse our relationship with the European Union. I have not heard any member say that the European Union is perfect—far from it. Everyone believes that the European Union requires reform. The Scottish Government has produced a 20-page document that the member is well versed in, as I know from sitting in committee being grilled by him on our reform agenda.

          On top of that, further detail was added by the First Minister during her recent visit to Brussels, where she spoke about giving member states more autonomy when it comes to social and public health issues, and cited the example of minimum unit pricing for alcohol. She also talked about better regulation as opposed to more regulation, and spoke about how reform can work for people who live in Scotland. In that regard, David Stewart quite rightly mentioned reforms to the common fisheries policy. She also spoke about tackling social issues that matter to the citizens of Europe—for example, the scourge of youth unemployment, the figures for which are far too high across the continent.

          However, although I will listen during the campaign to come, I have not heard from the Conservatives during their speeches today what reforms require treaty change and what parts of the treaty need to be changed. That information is not forthcoming. However, we hear senior Conservative ministers—including the Prime Minister—saying that they believe that treaty change is required. Of course, when they say that, they do not go into the various difficulties that treaty change would impose, including referendums in many countries, including Ireland, and the pragmatic problems of trying to ratify treaty changes in parliaments such as Greece’s current one.

        • Jamie McGrigor:

          Does the minister agree that not travelling down to Strasbourg every three weeks would require a treaty change?

        • Humza Yousaf:

          If that is Jamie McGrigor’s fundamental reason for why we need treaty change and why we need to reform our relationship with the European Union, I have perhaps missed the point.

        • Neil Findlay:

          Will the minister give way?

        • Humza Yousaf:

          I will not just now; I want to make progress. However, I will address the point that Neil Findlay made when he intervened on the cabinet secretary.

          Willie Rennie, Malcolm Chisholm, Claire Baker and others talked about internationalisation and why they feel that Europe is important from that perspective. We in the SNP are also internationalists, which is why we believe that if we work in co-operation across the EU, we can achieve great results. Peacetime was mentioned by Stewart Maxwell and was reflected on by Willie Rennie very well. The importance of the EU with regard to climate change was spoken about, too. The EU is also important in relation to some of the other big challenges that the continent faces. The cabinet secretary has played a leading role with regard to the refugee crisis of refugees crossing the Mediterranean from north Africa to Europe. There has been a suggestion on how to tackle that problem, with resettlement being part of it. The Scottish Government very much believes that resettlement has to be part of the solution, as well as our tackling the problem at source.

          Talking of reform, let me spend a minute discussing the issue that has dominated contributions from the chamber, which is reform to the franchise for the referendum. Members from across the Parliament spoke very well about why 16 and 17-year-olds must be given the vote. Claire Baker spoke very well about that, as did Malcolm Chisholm, Christina McKelvie and Stewart Maxwell. Many members spoke about their experiences during the independence referendum campaign of going into high schools and being asked very tough questions. I would say that 16 and 17-year-olds were the primary success of the Scottish referendum.

          On the point about 16 and 17-year-olds, Alex Johnstone said that we should try to influence Westminster and the UK Government through the means that are available to us. We just did: we had a general election and 56 out of 59 MPs in Scotland were elected on the mandate that 16 and 17-year-olds should be given the vote here in Scotland. They will not, however, be given the vote, even though we have that mandate in Scotland.

          I do not need to add too much more on the issue of EU citizens not being given the vote, because Christian Allard in particular made his points about that so well, so passionately and so strongly. The Conservative Party often says that it prides itself on being a party of logic and reason, but I have never heard such nonsensical, unfair and ludicrous rules of electoral engagement in all my days. The UK Government proposals for the EU referendum will disenfranchise people who have chosen to make Scotland and the United Kingdom their home not for years, but for decades. Anybody listening to Christian Allard’s speech will see that he and his family have made their home here in Scotland. People come to Christian Allard for help and assistance in his role as a member of the Scottish Parliament. If they require his help, he does his duty to them, but he has been completely and utterly disenfranchised.

          If the Conservatives said that no foreign national would be allowed a vote, I would still be against that, of course, but I would understand the consistency and the logic. However, that is not the case; the Conservatives would give the vote to some foreign nationals but not to others. They would give the vote to people from the Commonwealth, which includes two European countries, and they would lump Ireland in, as well as ex-pats and others who have not contributed to this country for perhaps up to 15 years, but they would disenfranchise those who have contributed, simply because of the colour of their passport.

        • Alex Johnstone:

          Is the minister trying to give the impression that there is some devious thought process afoot here, or will he simply acknowledge that the franchise will be granted to exactly the same people who were entitled to vote on 7 May?

        • Humza Yousaf:

          First, the franchise will not be granted to exactly the same people who were allowed to vote on 7 May. The Lords are an example, which Stewart Stevenson gave very well.

          I do not think that there is any “devious thought process”; I think that there is no thought process when it comes to the franchise. How can there be when somebody from Fiji can vote, but somebody from France cannot, and when somebody from the Solomon Islands can, but somebody from Spain cannot?

          David Stewart and others talked about the benefits that migrants, and EU migrants in particular, have brought. Many members quoted the UCL study and its figure that EU citizens have contributed £20 billion to the UK over the past decade. He asked me specifically about the post-study work visa, which would not affect EU migrants but would affect those from outwith the EU. I am pleased to say—he might have seen this over the weekend—that we will have a cross-party steering group on that, which Claire Baker will be sitting on, to take that issue forward.

          Other parties have spoken extensively about the double lock. I reassure Mr Rennie that we in the SNP are not pessimistic. In fact, if anything, we are told far too often that we are increasingly optimistic. It is true—we are very optimistic. I believe, as Mr Rennie does, that the people of the United Kingdom will vote to stay within the European Union, but we would not be doing our job as a Government if we were not prudent in protecting Scots and Scottish citizens.

        • Willie Rennie:

          Will the minister give way?

        • Humza Yousaf:

          If I have time, I will take an intervention.

        • The Presiding Officer (Tricia Marwick):

          Briefly, Mr Rennie.

        • Willie Rennie:

          If the minister is so optimistic, why does he not just drop the double-lock proposals, because they are no longer needed?

        • Humza Yousaf:

          We will not do so for exactly the reason that I just gave. We would not be doing our job as a Government if we did not take every available measure to protect the people of Scotland.

          It is not just us. On his recent visit to Scotland, Carwyn Jones, Labour’s First Minister of Wales, said:

          “Any decision to leave the EU, taken against the wishes of the people of Wales or Scotland, would be unacceptable and steps must be taken to ensure this does not happen.”

        • Claire Baker:

          Will the minister take an intervention?

        • The Presiding Officer:

          You need to close, minister.

        • Humza Yousaf:

          I accept that we can have a debate about what those steps may be, but the double lock is a very sensible proposition.

          The debate has been very good and it has been positive. As Malcolm Chisholm said, we should ensure that in the months to come there is emotion and passion. Undoubtedly, the united voice of this Parliament should say that Scotland and the UK are stronger for being in the EU and the EU is stronger for having the UK and Scotland as part of it.

      • Greenhouse Gas Inventory 2013
        • The Presiding Officer (Tricia Marwick):

          The next item of business is a statement by Aileen McLeod on the publication of the 2013 greenhouse gas inventory. The minister will take questions at the end of her statement, so there should be no interventions or interruptions. I note that a number of members are not in their seats.

          They are now.

          16:26  
        • The Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform (Aileen McLeod):

          This is a milestone year for climate change, with a new global treaty to be negotiated in Paris in December. Those negotiations will seek a legally binding and universal agreement on climate change. That treaty must form the foundation for a truly effective international response to climate change that will limit global temperature rise to no more than 2°C, and protect the poorest and most vulnerable people from the worst extremes of climate change.

          Scotland has world-leading ambition on climate change and we are calling on other countries to match that ambition. In that context, I want to update the Parliament on the publication this morning of the latest statistics on Scottish greenhouse gas emissions and the progress that is being made. The statistics show that Scotland’s source emissions—that is, greenhouse gas emissions from sources in Scotland—in 2013 were 34.3 per cent lower than the 1990 baseline: a third lower. On the wider emissions measure recorded in the net Scottish emissions account, which takes account of EU emissions trading, the 2013 level was 38.4 per cent lower than the 1990 baseline.

          Those data demonstrate that Scotland is now more than three-quarters of the way to our target reduction of 42 per cent by 2020. Let me underline that point. Scotland is on track to meet our 42 per cent target by 2020. The figures demonstrate that Scotland is making significant progress in making the low-carbon economy a reality.

          Scotland, Germany, Denmark, the USA and China all have fast-growing low-carbon sectors. Scotland is at the centre of a new strong story about low carbon driving a renewal of the global economy: it is delivering jobs, growth, regeneration, energy security, the circular economy, climate resilience, social justice and climate justice, and it is tackling poverty.

          We know that we have to underpin that ambition with domestic action, so progress against the annual targets that are set in legislation is very important. Changes to the method of calculating emissions have added 10.6 megatonnes to the 1990 baseline from when the fixed targets were set, which has made it harder to meet the fixed targets. Despite that, the net Scottish emissions account in 2013 was 49.7 megatonnes, compared to the target of 47.9 megatonnes: a gap of less than 4 per cent. If it had not been for successive increases to the baseline since the targets were established, Scotland would have met—and exceeded—our target for this year and for the three previous years. We have made very significant progress, but like all other countries, we must continue to lift the pace of our actions year on year.

          Achieving our targets is clearly not easy and it is not something that the Government can do on its own: it requires support from right across society. I was very appreciative of the strong cross-party support and the support of the public for action on climate change that was expressed at the Stop Climate Chaos Scotland rally at the Parliament on 27 May. I hope that we can continue to maintain that consensus in the important period ahead.

          Last year, we announced new actions that the Government would take, and those are being delivered. The Cabinet sub-committee on climate change is co-ordinating our response at the highest level of Government, and the ambition of the sub-committee and of the Cabinet overall on the agenda is resolute.

          I am very pleased that ministers collectively are determined that we place appropriate priority on climate change, and that the Cabinet has agreed to embed climate change in this autumn’s budget process. I am also pleased to announce further action across Government that will reduce our emissions.

          Scotland’s homes account for a quarter of our emissions; energy efficiency is key to meeting our targets, and we are making good progress. Since 2008, nearly one in three households has installed energy efficiency measures, and more than a third of Scotland’s homes have a good energy efficiency rating, which is an increase of 56 per cent since 2010.

          We have increased investment in domestic energy efficiency from £94 million last year to £119 million this year. Since 2009, we have allocated more than £0.5 billion to fuel poverty and energy efficiency programmes.

          Heat accounts for approximately half our emissions and for more than 55 per cent of our energy demand. We spend £2.6 billion annually on heating and cooling our homes and businesses. This week, we are publishing our heat policy statement, which places energy demand reduction and reducing the need for heat at the top of our hierarchy of actions. It provides a framework for largely decarbonising our heat system by 2050, for diversifying sources of heat, for reducing pressure on energy bills and for seizing economic opportunities.

          We will now go further to realise the full potential of carbon saving from energy efficiency and drive down energy costs. Scotland’s new energy efficiency programme will provide an offer of support to all buildings in Scotland—domestic and non-domestic—to improve their energy efficiency. That will be the cornerstone of action to designate energy efficiency as a national infrastructure priority. Further detail will be set out in the infrastructure investment plan later this year.

          Our approach to energy is central to the challenge of reducing emissions, and energy efficiency must be at the heart of the approach that we will take to decarbonising our energy system. We will work together with energy experts, businesses and communities to develop a more holistic approach to those issues over the next year, as we prepare for the third report on proposals and policies in 2016.

          The Scottish Government has consistently sought opportunities to provide additional investment in sustainable and active travel, and I have agreed with the Deputy First Minister that we will carry that commitment into the next Parliament. As part of that, we will launch a second future transport fund.

          We will review the programmes to ensure they are effectively targeted to reduce transport emissions, improve air quality and promote active lifestyles. That will include exploring how we might support the concept of exemplar travel settlements and how we might refocus and enhance our support for low-carbon buses, including scrapping the oldest most polluting vehicles from the bus fleet. We will set out further detail in the budget this autumn.

          The school run is a significant cause of congestion and localised air pollution, and it contributes to inactive lifestyles. We will investigate school transport choices and what influences them, map existing activity, assess what is most cost effective, and advise where efforts would best be concentrated. That will lead to a relaunch of an integrated policy on tackling the school run.

          We will start work with a local authority to develop a low-emissions zone, and we will discuss with local authorities where a pathfinder would most usefully be undertaken. Initially we will support transport modelling to understand the pressures on air quality and emissions. That will allow the development of a low-emissions zone in respect of how the zone operates and how travel needs can be supported.

          Methane is a potent greenhouse gas. We will build on successful pilot projects to roll out the retrofit of landfill gas capture at older sites. A further £500,000 will be invested this year to tackle the legacy of waste-management practices.

          We have an ambition that every household will have access to food-waste collection. To accelerate the action that is under way across Scotland to divert food waste from landfill, we will provide an additional £5 million over two years to help local authorities that have yet to roll out food-waste collections

          We will shortly publish work on the carbon impacts of a more circular economy, which will be one of the first attempts anywhere in the world to quantify those benefits. If we get smarter about how we manage materials, the carbon savings could be significant.

          The importance of peatland has been recognised in two recent debates. Last year, 5,580 hectares were restored through the Scottish National Heritage led peatland action initiative. Funding of £10 million is available through the Scottish rural development programme. I am pleased to announce that there will be a further £3 million to support peatland restoration this year. The Scottish Government and SNH will shortly publish our peatland plan, which is a strategic approach to managing, protecting and—where it is required—restoring Scotland’s peatland.

          We have previously announced measures to tackle agricultural emissions from permanent pasture through the common agricultural policy greening. We will go further than that, and will introduce a requirement for compulsory soil testing on all improved land. In addition, we will work with stakeholders to take increased action on livestock health and production diseases in order to reduce the intensity of emissions from the sector.

          Last October, we started work on the next report on proposals and policies—RPP3. We are developing a new model that will help us better to understand the opportunities and challenges that we face. Reducing emissions can be based only on action by us all, and not just by the Government, if we are to achieve our ambitions. Therefore, I am clear that we will engage widely within Scotland, with the UK Government and with the EU as we develop RPP3 over the coming months.

          We are making good progress but, of course, more must be done. In this milestone year for our environment, Scotland is acting locally and can help to show the way globally. We are calling on other countries to match Scotland’s ambition to boost the global economy through low carbon and to protect poor and vulnerable people here and abroad from climate change’s worst impacts.

        • Sarah Boyack (Lothian) (Lab):

          I welcome the advance copy of the minister’s statement. I note that the timing change has enabled Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee members to return from Parliament day in Orkney to hear the statement, although I highlight that I heard the headline announcement from the press in advance of the statement.

          Will the minister confirm that the Scottish National Party Government has missed its fourth annual target in a row? Given that the revised 1990 baseline reveals that there was a higher level of dangerous climate emissions, will she confirm that she has no intention of watering down the targets, which would send a dreadful message ahead of the Paris talks? Does the minister understand our disappointment at the lack of new proposals and the lack of details on new funding for the transformation that we need urgently in our building stock, given the level of fuel poverty that a third of our households live with day to day? Does she understand our disappointment that there has been an increase in business and industrial processes’ emissions? Will she accept that the challenge is not about whether there is consensus in this chamber for radical action, but in what the Scottish Government will do in its budget and its RPP to deliver the radical transformation that Scotland needs in order to meet our targets?

        • Aileen McLeod:

          We have put in place a comprehensive package of policies and measures to meet our emissions reduction targets. I have just set out in my statement exactly what further action we are prepared to take to ensure that we meet our targets.

          It is also fair to point out that I am, to be honest, disappointed about missing our fourth annual target. However, it is important to record what we have achieved in respect of the long-term target.

          We are more than three quarters of the way towards achieving the 42 per cent emissions reduction target, as I set out in my statement. That amazing progress has been made by this Government, the Parliament, and by people, businesses and industries right across Scotland. We have a challenge in facing our annual emissions targets simply because the data on which our targets are based have improved—successive changes have been made to the data on which our targets are established. Things have moved on and we are making substantial progress towards achieving our 42 per cent target. This afternoon we have set out the further action that we are prepared to take. I think that is extremely substantial, especially since energy efficiency has now been designated as a national infrastructure priority.

        • Jamie McGrigor (Highlands and Islands) (Con):

          I thank the minister for early sight of the statement, but I share the disappointment and concern that for four years running the Scottish Government has failed to meet its targets. The cumulative impact of that means that we will all have to work even harder as we go forward. We support the extra measures on making all homes more energy efficient and boosting insulation, which we have asked for continually. Will the minister indicate what the extra spending commitment is in today’s new energy efficiency programme? How will the Government ensure that the new measures reach the homes of groups that are difficult to reach, such as very elderly and severely disabled people who might need help in accessing the schemes? On food waste, how will the Government support the most rural and island local authorities where a food-waste collection system is more difficult due to dispersed settlements and smaller chances of economies of scale?

        • Aileen McLeod:

          The cornerstone of our national infrastructure priority is Scotland’s energy efficiency programme, and we have said that we will develop that over the next two to three years in conjunction with stakeholders. For the first time, it will bring together action on the domestic and non-domestic sectors. That new programme has the potential to transform the energy efficiency of Scotland’s housing stock and it will provide an offer of support to all buildings in Scotland, to help them to achieve a good energy efficiency rating over more than 15 to 20 years.

          New powers, through the Scotland Bill, that are due to be devolved to this Parliament will determine how supplier obligations on energy efficiency and fuel poverty operate, which will give us the scope to tailor our new programme to Scotland’s unique circumstances. For example, it will help to ensure that we effectively target support to remote, rural and island communities that have not been adequately served by the UK’s existing energy company obligation. Equally, that will give us scope to design programmes to address the unique nature of Scotland’s built environment. For example, a lot of the hard-to-heat housing that we find in many of our rural areas has solid walls or is within historic conservation areas. We have said that we will work with stakeholders over the next two to three years to develop and design that programme, and we will set out further information in due course.

        • The Presiding Officer:

          I advise members that 13 people wish to ask questions of the minister and there is less than 15 minutes to allow that to happen. Will members keep their contributions to one brief question? I would also be grateful for brevity from the minister.

        • Rob Gibson (Caithness, Sutherland and Ross) (SNP):

          I welcome this positive programme. Will the minister confirm that the high percentage reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 2012-13 is not just methodological? What specific actions has the Scottish Government taken to achieve such a high percentage reduction?

        • Aileen McLeod:

          It is clear that the introduction of a tighter EU emissions trading-scheme cap is a result of the introduction of phase 3 of the emissions trading scheme. That had a significant impact on emissions, which was reflected in the RPP.

          What is important, and what we are focused on, is delivering the sustainable long-term emissions reductions that are required by the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. We expect emissions to continue to decline as a result of the policies that have been put in place by the Scottish Government. Progress towards Scotland’s climate change targets is measured against the net Scottish emissions account. That incorporates greenhouse gas emissions from sources in Scotland, as well as our share of emissions from international aviation and international shipping. It takes into account the use of emissions allowances by Scottish industries and by airlines participating in the EU emissions trading system. When the 2013 emissions are adjusted to take account of that, the net Scottish emissions account shows a decrease of 14 per cent between 2012 and 2013.

        • Claudia Beamish (South Scotland) (Lab):

          With emissions from agriculture still accounting for 23.4 per cent of total emissions, with a cut of only 1.1 per cent, is the minister confident that the right range of measures is in place to reduce emissions from that sector?

          Although I recognise the demonstration value of the climate change focus farms, I point out that there are only eight of them. Does the minister agree that the time may now have come for a simple mandatory carbon reporting process for all farms to be consulted on?

        • Aileen McLeod:

          Carbon audits are built into the Scotland rural development programme. Following the success of farming for a better climate, additional funding of £100,000 was allocated in 2014-15 to increase the number of focus farms from four to eight, so as to allow greater coverage and to enable more farmers to attend demonstration events.

          The agriculture and climate change stakeholder group is further strengthening industry initiatives to promote the uptake of emission reduction measures.

        • Graeme Dey (Angus South) (SNP):

          Supported by the green bus fund, Stagecoach East Scotland has just introduced 18 new hybrid buses on the Arbroath to Dundee route in my constituency, and it has plans to replace the fleet serving the inland Kirriemuir to Dundee service next year. I absolutely welcome the commitment that the minister has given to enhancing existing support for low-carbon buses in the next session. How will the Government actively encourage increased participation in the scheme? Does the minister believe that sufficient funding will be available to meet anticipated demand?

        • Aileen McLeod:

          Since its launch in 2010, five rounds of the Scottish green bus fund have provided £13 million to support the introduction of 269 new low-carbon vehicles, mostly hybrids, into the Scottish bus fleet. The fund is complemented by the bus service operators grant, which currently pays double the standard rate of grant for services that are operated by low-carbon vehicles. We are reviewing future options for supporting green buses in the light of technological and market developments and the increasing importance of air quality in order to maximise value for money and impact.

        • Jim Hume (South Scotland) (LD):

          I am disappointed that the minister chose to release the figures to the press rather than to the Parliament—but no matter.

          In the past three years, not one single building on the Scottish Government’s 79 building estate has had an improvement on its energy performance certificate. Indeed, only two buildings have renewable energy sources. How will the minister’s department rectify that and set an ethical example for renewables in our public sector?

        • Aileen McLeod:

          I did not quite catch all of what Mr Hume said, but I put it on record that the statistics that were published online this morning are official statistics—they are independent of the Government.

          Regarding what I think Mr Hume was asking me, on the cornerstone of the national infrastructure priority that I set out earlier and Scotland’s energy efficiency programme, I have said that the programme has the potential to transform the energy efficiency of Scotland’s housing stock. It will provide an offer of support to all buildings in Scotland, so as to help them achieve a good energy efficiency rating over the 15 to 20-year period. That programme will provide support to overcome the up-front costs of installing energy efficiency measures. As I said earlier, we will work with stakeholders over the next two to three years to develop and design that programme, and we will be setting out further detailed information in due course.

        • Roderick Campbell (North East Fife) (SNP):

          It is clearly disappointing that the annual target has been missed, but how does Scotland compare with the rest of Europe at present?

        • Aileen McLeod:

          On progress against the emission targets, we use slightly different definitions for Scotland and the UK. For direct comparisons with the UK, it is advisable to use the source emissions including international aviation and shipping. On that basis, Scotland’s emissions decreased by 3.6 per cent between 2012 and 2013, compared with a 2.3 per cent decrease for the UK as a whole. Between 1990 and 2013, there was a 34.3 per cent reduction in emissions in Scotland, compared with a 27.4 per cent reduction for the UK as a whole.

          As far as Mr Campbell’s question about the EU data is concerned, unfortunately we do not have comparative data for other EU countries, because the European Environment Agency has not yet released the comparable figures. We look forward to receiving those figures, because between 1990 and 2012 the EU average for emissions reductions was 18.5 per cent, whereas the figure for Scotland was 29.9 per cent. Therefore, we are outperforming not only the UK but the EU average.

        • Lewis Macdonald (North East Scotland) (Lab):

          I am sorry that I missed the very beginning of the minister’s statement, but I heard her promise to make an offer of support to all buildings in Scotland on energy efficiency. She then talked about consulting on that over the next two to three years—

        • The Presiding Officer:

          Yes, but can we get a question?

        • Lewis Macdonald:

          How much new money does the Scottish Government intend to invest in that objective over the next 12 months, given that it does not want to miss the targets again in 2016?

        • Aileen McLeod:

          The new programme will include multiyear funding that will give our delivery partners the certainty that they need to deliver the ambitious energy efficiency projects. As I said earlier, the detail of the programme still needs to be developed, and we will work with stakeholders over the next couple of years before we launch the new programme.

        • Angus MacDonald (Falkirk East) (SNP):

          I welcome the stats that show that Scotland’s source emissions are more than a third lower than the 1990 baseline. To help improve on that, what is the minister doing to support economically challenged communities and households in Scotland to tackle emissions and fuel poverty and, in the process, have a better quality of life?

        • Aileen McLeod:

          Since 2009, we have allocated more than £0.5 million to a raft of fuel poverty and energy efficiency programmes, and nearly one in three of our households—more than 700,000 of them—has now received energy efficiency support. Tackling fuel poverty remains a priority for this Government. This year, we are spending unprecedented amounts on fuel poverty and energy efficiency—the budget for 2015-16 is a record £119 million.

          HEEPS—the home energy efficiency programmes for Scotland—are supporting those who are most in need. For example, £48 million of the £65 million that is available for the HEEPS area-based schemes in the current year is allocated on the basis of need, which takes into account levels of fuel poverty and reflects the different types of properties in rural areas. Our spending on domestic energy efficiency has already made hundreds of thousands of homes warmer and cheaper to heat and, as the Scottish house condition survey shows, it has helped to mitigate the rise in fuel poverty.

        • Patrick Harvie (Glasgow) (Green):

          It is to be hoped that the reannouncement of the national infrastructure priority for energy efficiency, which John Swinney first agreed to more than six months ago after pressure from Alison Johnstone, will lead to some good work of the kind that Greens have been calling for for more than a dozen years, but is not that the story of this whole scenario? We are seeing—

        • The Presiding Officer:

          Question, Mr Harvie.

        • Patrick Harvie:

          I am asking a question.

        • The Presiding Officer:

          Get to it, then.

        • Patrick Harvie:

          It is only after four targets have failed to be met that action is beginning to be taken and we are seeing a few pilot exercises on transport when we already know what has to be done.

        • Aileen McLeod:

          The story is actually the fact that Scotland has reduced its emissions by 38.4 per cent. We are making significant progress on our long-term target—we are more than three quarters of the way to achieving the target of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 42 per cent by 2020—and I think that we should celebrate the amazing progress that has been made by not just the Parliament and the Government but the people of Scotland.

        • David Stewart (Highlands and Islands) (Lab):

          Does the minister share my view that decarbonising freight transport will help the Scottish Government to meet future climate change targets? We need to get more freight off road and on to sea and rail. Does the minister agree?

        • Aileen McLeod:

          Yes, I do. The Scottish Government is committed to rail electrification and recognises the key benefits that it brings in the shape of improved journey times and connectivity, environmental benefits and reduced industry costs, particularly on the intercity network, including the north of Perth to Inverness and central belt to Aberdeen routes.

        • Michael Russell (Argyll and Bute) (SNP):

          How do we make this personal for each citizen in Scotland? The minister mentioned the people of Scotland several times in her statement but, in the end, it is only the people of Scotland who will take the steps on transport and heating that will make the difference. Tremendous progress has been made. How do make this a personal priority for every person in the country?

        • Aileen McLeod:

          I thank Mr Russell for that question because we know that governmental action alone cannot meet the ambitious targets that have been agreed by this Parliament. We therefore continue to work with a range of audiences to put in place the information and resources that will enable change to take place. We are working with and supporting a wide range of partners to drive forward a coherent package of interventions to deliver the shift that we need to see in our low-carbon behaviours, which includes our greener together engagement with the general public, working with established networks such as eco-schools, Young Scot, eco-congregations, Scotland’s 2020 climate group and the sustainable Scotland network, and the climate challenge fund.

        • Michael McMahon (Uddingston and Bellshill) (Lab):

          Does the minister believe that anyone should be surprised when she tells us today that only now will she be working with energy experts, businesses and communities on housing emissions in preparation for the third report on proposals and policies? Her Government will fail to meet its legally binding commitment to eradicate fuel poverty by 2016. Does she accept that that is far too little much too late?

        • Aileen McLeod:

          Work is already under way in terms of how we deal with fuel poverty. Since 2009, over £0.5 billion has been spent by this Government on addressing fuel poverty and our energy efficiency measures. Of course there is always more for us to do, but we are making significant process in how we deal with our fuel poverty.

        • John Finnie (Highlands and Islands) (Ind):

          After four failures on targets, will the Scottish Government now go ahead with the deposit refund scheme and lead by example rather than wait to do anything with the rest of the UK?

        • Aileen McLeod:

          We are considering that scheme in relation to the Zero Waste Scotland study.

        • Alex Fergusson (Galloway and West Dumfries) (Con):

          The minister’s statement mentioned the role that agriculture has to play in reducing carbon emissions, and spoke of the intensity of the emissions from the agricultural sector. However, how can any reductions in those emissions be measured when no baseline has ever been set?

        • The Presiding Officer:

          Minister, your answer can be a bit longer. You have until 4.58.

        • Aileen McLeod:

          We are measuring nitrogen oxide in terms of our agricultural emissions.

        • The Presiding Officer:

          Thank you. We will now move swiftly on to the next item of business.

      • Standards Commission for Scotland (Appointment of Member)
        • The Presiding Officer (Tricia Marwick):

          The next item of business is consideration of motion S4M-13384, in the name of Liam McArthur, on the appointment of a member of the Standards Commission for Scotland. I call on Liam McArthur to speak to and move the motion on behalf of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body. Mr McArthur, you may wish to say a few words.

          16:56  
        • Liam McArthur (Orkney Islands) (LD):

          Thank you, Presiding Officer. I will extemporise where I can.

          I speak to the motion in my name as a member of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body appointment panel and I invite colleagues across the chamber to agree to the appointment of Professor Kevin Dunion as a member of the Standards Commission for Scotland. You will be delighted to hear, Presiding Officer, that under the Ethical Standards in Public Life etc (Scotland) Act 2000, members of the commission are appointed by the SPCB with the agreement of the Parliament. The role of the Standards Commission is to encourage high ethical standards in public life, and it does that by promoting and enforcing the codes of conduct for councillors and members of devolved public bodies.

          The SPCB sat as a selection panel on 13 May this year, and the members of the panel were John Pentland, Liz Smith and me. From a very strong field of candidates, we are seeking the agreement of the Parliament this afternoon to appoint Professor Dunion as a member of the Standards Commission.

          On behalf of the SPCB, I thank Louise Rose, the independent assessor who oversaw our deliberations, and who has confirmed by way of a validation certificate that the appointment process conformed to good practice and that the recommendation of Professor Dunion is made on merit after a fair, open and transparent process.

          Turning to the candidate, we believe that Professor Dunion will bring to the post high levels of integrity and discretion as well as a strong commitment to encouraging high ethical standards in public life. I am sure that the Parliament will want to join me in wishing Professor Dunion every success in his new role. Presiding Officer, I have pleasure in moving the motion in my name, albeit slightly early.

          I move,

          That the Parliament agrees, under section 8 of the Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000, to appoint Kevin Dunion as a Member of the Standards Commission for Scotland.

        • The Presiding Officer:

          A truly valiant effort, Mr McArthur.

          I remind members that following decision time tonight there is a members’ business debate on the Gaelic language. Translation will be provided, and members should have in front of them headphones that will assist greatly. Angus MacDonald will speak to the motion on the 10th anniversary of the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005. I understand that a number of members will make at least part of their speech in Gaelic, so we certainly look forward to that.

      • Decision Time
        • The Presiding Officer (Tricia Marwick):

          There are five questions to be put as a result of today’s business. I remind members that, in relation to the debate on the European Union referendum, if the amendment in the name of Claire Baker is agreed to, the amendment in the name of Willie Rennie will fall.

          The first question is, that amendment S4M-13404.4, in the name of Claire Baker, which seeks to amend motion S4M-13404, in the name of Fiona Hyslop, on the EU referendum, be agreed to. Are we agreed?

          Members: No.

        • The Presiding Officer:

          There will be a division.

          For

          Baillie, Jackie (Dumbarton) (Lab)
          Baker, Claire (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Baker, Richard (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Baxter, Jayne (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Beamish, Claudia (South Scotland) (Lab)
          Bibby, Neil (West Scotland) (Lab)
          Boyack, Sarah (Lothian) (Lab)
          Chisholm, Malcolm (Edinburgh Northern and Leith) (Lab)
          Dugdale, Kezia (Lothian) (Lab)
          Fee, Mary (West Scotland) (Lab)
          Ferguson, Patricia (Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn) (Lab)
          Finnie, John (Highlands and Islands) (Ind)
          Grant, Rhoda (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
          Gray, Iain (East Lothian) (Lab)
          Griffin, Mark (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          Harvie, Patrick (Glasgow) (Green)
          Henry, Hugh (Renfrewshire South) (Lab)
          Johnstone, Alison (Lothian) (Green)
          Kelly, James (Rutherglen) (Lab)
          Lamont, Johann (Glasgow Pollok) (Lab)
          Macdonald, Lewis (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Malik, Hanzala (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Marra, Jenny (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Martin, Paul (Glasgow Provan) (Lab)
          McCulloch, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          McDougall, Margaret (West Scotland) (Lab)
          McMahon, Michael (Uddingston and Bellshill) (Lab)
          McMahon, Siobhan (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          McNeil, Duncan (Greenock and Inverclyde) (Lab)
          McTaggart, Anne (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Murray, Elaine (Dumfriesshire) (Lab)
          Pearson, Graeme (South Scotland) (Lab)
          Pentland, John (Motherwell and Wishaw) (Lab)
          Rowley, Alex (Cowdenbeath) (Lab)
          Simpson, Dr Richard (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Smith, Drew (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Stewart, David (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
          Wilson, John (Central Scotland) (Ind)

          Against

          Adam, George (Paisley) (SNP)
          Adamson, Clare (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          Allan, Dr Alasdair (Na h-Eileanan an Iar) (SNP)
          Allard, Christian (North East Scotland) (SNP)
          Beattie, Colin (Midlothian North and Musselburgh) (SNP)
          Biagi, Marco (Edinburgh Central) (SNP)
          Brodie, Chic (South Scotland) (SNP)
          Brown, Keith (Clackmannanshire and Dunblane) (SNP)
          Burgess, Margaret (Cunninghame South) (SNP)
          Campbell, Aileen (Clydesdale) (SNP)
          Campbell, Roderick (North East Fife) (SNP)
          Coffey, Willie (Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley) (SNP)
          Constance, Angela (Almond Valley) (SNP)
          Crawford, Bruce (Stirling) (SNP)
          Cunningham, Roseanna (Perthshire South and Kinross-shire) (SNP)
          Dey, Graeme (Angus South) (SNP)
          Don, Nigel (Angus North and Mearns) (SNP)
          Doris, Bob (Glasgow) (SNP)
          Dornan, James (Glasgow Cathcart) (SNP)
          Ewing, Annabelle (Mid Scotland and Fife) (SNP)
          Fabiani, Linda (East Kilbride) (SNP)
          FitzPatrick, Joe (Dundee City West) (SNP)
          Gibson, Kenneth (Cunninghame North) (SNP)
          Gibson, Rob (Caithness, Sutherland and Ross) (SNP)
          Grahame, Christine (Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale) (SNP)
          Hepburn, Jamie (Cumbernauld and Kilsyth) (SNP)
          Hyslop, Fiona (Linlithgow) (SNP)
          Ingram, Adam (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) (SNP)
          Johnstone, Alex (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Keir, Colin (Edinburgh Western) (SNP)
          Kidd, Bill (Glasgow Anniesland) (SNP)
          Lochhead, Richard (Moray) (SNP)
          Lyle, Richard (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          MacAskill, Kenny (Edinburgh Eastern) (SNP)
          MacDonald, Angus (Falkirk East) (SNP)
          MacDonald, Gordon (Edinburgh Pentlands) (SNP)
          Mackay, Derek (Renfrewshire North and West) (SNP)
          MacKenzie, Mike (Highlands and Islands) (SNP)
          Mason, John (Glasgow Shettleston) (SNP)
          Matheson, Michael (Falkirk West) (SNP)
          Maxwell, Stewart (West Scotland) (SNP)
          McAlpine, Joan (South Scotland) (SNP)
          McDonald, Mark (Aberdeen Donside) (SNP)
          McKelvie, Christina (Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse) (SNP)
          McLeod, Aileen (South Scotland) (SNP)
          McLeod, Fiona (Strathkelvin and Bearsden) (SNP)
          McMillan, Stuart (West Scotland) (SNP)
          Neil, Alex (Airdrie and Shotts) (SNP)
          Paterson, Gil (Clydebank and Milngavie) (SNP)
          Robertson, Dennis (Aberdeenshire West) (SNP)
          Russell, Michael (Argyll and Bute) (SNP)
          Stevenson, Stewart (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP)
          Stewart, Kevin (Aberdeen Central) (SNP)
          Swinney, John (Perthshire North) (SNP)
          Thompson, Dave (Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch) (SNP)
          Torrance, David (Kirkcaldy) (SNP)
          Urquhart, Jean (Highlands and Islands) (Ind)
          Wheelhouse, Paul (South Scotland) (SNP)
          White, Sandra (Glasgow Kelvin) (SNP)
          Yousaf, Humza (Glasgow) (SNP)

          Abstentions

          Brown, Gavin (Lothian) (Con)
          Buchanan, Cameron (Lothian) (Con)
          Carlaw, Jackson (West Scotland) (Con)
          Davidson, Ruth (Glasgow) (Con)
          Fergusson, Alex (Galloway and West Dumfries) (Con)
          Findlay, Neil (Lothian) (Lab)
          Fraser, Murdo (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
          Goldie, Annabel (West Scotland) (Con)
          Hume, Jim (South Scotland) (LD)
          Lamont, John (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire) (Con)
          McArthur, Liam (Orkney Islands) (LD)
          McGrigor, Jamie (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
          McInnes, Alison (North East Scotland) (LD)
          Milne, Nanette (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Mitchell, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Con)
          Rennie, Willie (Mid Scotland and Fife) (LD)
          Scanlon, Mary (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
          Scott, John (Ayr) (Con)
          Smith, Elaine (Coatbridge and Chryston) (Lab)

        • The Presiding Officer:

          The result of the division is: For 38, Against 60, Abstentions 19.

          Amendment disagreed to.

        • The Presiding Officer:

          I remind members that, if the amendment in the name of Alex Johnstone is agreed to, the amendment in the name of Willie Rennie will fall.

          The next question is, that amendment S4M-13404.2, in the name of Alex Johnstone, which seeks to amend motion S4M-13404, in the name of Fiona Hyslop, on the EU referendum, be agreed to. Are we agreed?

          Members: No.

        • The Presiding Officer:

          There will be a division.

          For

          Brown, Gavin (Lothian) (Con)
          Buchanan, Cameron (Lothian) (Con)
          Carlaw, Jackson (West Scotland) (Con)
          Davidson, Ruth (Glasgow) (Con)
          Fergusson, Alex (Galloway and West Dumfries) (Con)
          Fraser, Murdo (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
          Goldie, Annabel (West Scotland) (Con)
          Johnstone, Alex (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Lamont, John (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire) (Con)
          McGrigor, Jamie (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
          Milne, Nanette (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Mitchell, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Con)
          Scanlon, Mary (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
          Scott, John (Ayr) (Con)

          Against

          Adam, George (Paisley) (SNP)
          Adamson, Clare (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          Allan, Dr Alasdair (Na h-Eileanan an Iar) (SNP)
          Allard, Christian (North East Scotland) (SNP)
          Baillie, Jackie (Dumbarton) (Lab)
          Baker, Claire (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Baker, Richard (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Baxter, Jayne (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Beamish, Claudia (South Scotland) (Lab)
          Beattie, Colin (Midlothian North and Musselburgh) (SNP)
          Biagi, Marco (Edinburgh Central) (SNP)
          Bibby, Neil (West Scotland) (Lab)
          Boyack, Sarah (Lothian) (Lab)
          Brodie, Chic (South Scotland) (SNP)
          Brown, Keith (Clackmannanshire and Dunblane) (SNP)
          Burgess, Margaret (Cunninghame South) (SNP)
          Campbell, Aileen (Clydesdale) (SNP)
          Campbell, Roderick (North East Fife) (SNP)
          Chisholm, Malcolm (Edinburgh Northern and Leith) (Lab)
          Coffey, Willie (Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley) (SNP)
          Constance, Angela (Almond Valley) (SNP)
          Crawford, Bruce (Stirling) (SNP)
          Cunningham, Roseanna (Perthshire South and Kinross-shire) (SNP)
          Dey, Graeme (Angus South) (SNP)
          Don, Nigel (Angus North and Mearns) (SNP)
          Doris, Bob (Glasgow) (SNP)
          Dornan, James (Glasgow Cathcart) (SNP)
          Dugdale, Kezia (Lothian) (Lab)
          Eadie, Jim (Edinburgh Southern) (SNP)
          Ewing, Annabelle (Mid Scotland and Fife) (SNP)
          Fabiani, Linda (East Kilbride) (SNP)
          Fee, Mary (West Scotland) (Lab)
          Ferguson, Patricia (Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn) (Lab)
          Findlay, Neil (Lothian) (Lab)
          Finnie, John (Highlands and Islands) (Ind)
          FitzPatrick, Joe (Dundee City West) (SNP)
          Gibson, Kenneth (Cunninghame North) (SNP)
          Gibson, Rob (Caithness, Sutherland and Ross) (SNP)
          Grahame, Christine (Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale) (SNP)
          Grant, Rhoda (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
          Gray, Iain (East Lothian) (Lab)
          Griffin, Mark (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          Harvie, Patrick (Glasgow) (Green)
          Henry, Hugh (Renfrewshire South) (Lab)
          Hepburn, Jamie (Cumbernauld and Kilsyth) (SNP)
          Hume, Jim (South Scotland) (LD)
          Hyslop, Fiona (Linlithgow) (SNP)
          Ingram, Adam (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) (SNP)
          Johnstone, Alison (Lothian) (Green)
          Keir, Colin (Edinburgh Western) (SNP)
          Kelly, James (Rutherglen) (Lab)
          Kidd, Bill (Glasgow Anniesland) (SNP)
          Lamont, Johann (Glasgow Pollok) (Lab)
          Lochhead, Richard (Moray) (SNP)
          Lyle, Richard (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          MacAskill, Kenny (Edinburgh Eastern) (SNP)
          MacDonald, Angus (Falkirk East) (SNP)
          MacDonald, Gordon (Edinburgh Pentlands) (SNP)
          Macdonald, Lewis (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Mackay, Derek (Renfrewshire North and West) (SNP)
          MacKenzie, Mike (Highlands and Islands) (SNP)
          Malik, Hanzala (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Marra, Jenny (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Martin, Paul (Glasgow Provan) (Lab)
          Mason, John (Glasgow Shettleston) (SNP)
          Matheson, Michael (Falkirk West) (SNP)
          Maxwell, Stewart (West Scotland) (SNP)
          McAlpine, Joan (South Scotland) (SNP)
          McArthur, Liam (Orkney Islands) (LD)
          McCulloch, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          McDonald, Mark (Aberdeen Donside) (SNP)
          McDougall, Margaret (West Scotland) (Lab)
          McInnes, Alison (North East Scotland) (LD)
          McKelvie, Christina (Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse) (SNP)
          McLeod, Aileen (South Scotland) (SNP)
          McLeod, Fiona (Strathkelvin and Bearsden) (SNP)
          McMahon, Michael (Uddingston and Bellshill) (Lab)
          McMahon, Siobhan (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          McMillan, Stuart (West Scotland) (SNP)
          McNeil, Duncan (Greenock and Inverclyde) (Lab)
          McTaggart, Anne (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Murray, Elaine (Dumfriesshire) (Lab)
          Neil, Alex (Airdrie and Shotts) (SNP)
          Paterson, Gil (Clydebank and Milngavie) (SNP)
          Pearson, Graeme (South Scotland) (Lab)
          Pentland, John (Motherwell and Wishaw) (Lab)
          Rennie, Willie (Mid Scotland and Fife) (LD)
          Robertson, Dennis (Aberdeenshire West) (SNP)
          Rowley, Alex (Cowdenbeath) (Lab)
          Russell, Michael (Argyll and Bute) (SNP)
          Simpson, Dr Richard (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Smith, Drew (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Smith, Elaine (Coatbridge and Chryston) (Lab)
          Stevenson, Stewart (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP)
          Stewart, David (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
          Stewart, Kevin (Aberdeen Central) (SNP)
          Swinney, John (Perthshire North) (SNP)
          Thompson, Dave (Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch) (SNP)
          Torrance, David (Kirkcaldy) (SNP)
          Urquhart, Jean (Highlands and Islands) (Ind)
          Wheelhouse, Paul (South Scotland) (SNP)
          White, Sandra (Glasgow Kelvin) (SNP)
          Wilson, John (Central Scotland) (Ind)
          Yousaf, Humza (Glasgow) (SNP)

        • The Presiding Officer:

          The result of the division is: For 14, Against 104, Abstentions 0.

          Amendment disagreed to.

        • The Presiding Officer:

          The next question is, that amendment S4M-13404.1, in the name of Willie Rennie, which seeks to amend motion S4M-13404, in the name of Fiona Hyslop, on the EU referendum, be agreed to. Are we agreed?

          Members: No.

        • The Presiding Officer:

          There will be a division.

          For

          Baillie, Jackie (Dumbarton) (Lab)
          Baker, Claire (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Baker, Richard (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Baxter, Jayne (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Beamish, Claudia (South Scotland) (Lab)
          Bibby, Neil (West Scotland) (Lab)
          Boyack, Sarah (Lothian) (Lab)
          Brown, Gavin (Lothian) (Con)
          Buchanan, Cameron (Lothian) (Con)
          Carlaw, Jackson (West Scotland) (Con)
          Chisholm, Malcolm (Edinburgh Northern and Leith) (Lab)
          Davidson, Ruth (Glasgow) (Con)
          Dugdale, Kezia (Lothian) (Lab)
          Fee, Mary (West Scotland) (Lab)
          Ferguson, Patricia (Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn) (Lab)
          Fergusson, Alex (Galloway and West Dumfries) (Con)
          Goldie, Annabel (West Scotland) (Con)
          Grant, Rhoda (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
          Gray, Iain (East Lothian) (Lab)
          Griffin, Mark (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          Henry, Hugh (Renfrewshire South) (Lab)
          Hume, Jim (South Scotland) (LD)
          Johnstone, Alex (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Kelly, James (Rutherglen) (Lab)
          Lamont, Johann (Glasgow Pollok) (Lab)
          Lamont, John (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire) (Con)
          Macdonald, Lewis (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Malik, Hanzala (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Marra, Jenny (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Martin, Paul (Glasgow Provan) (Lab)
          McArthur, Liam (Orkney Islands) (LD)
          McCulloch, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          McDougall, Margaret (West Scotland) (Lab)
          McGrigor, Jamie (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
          McInnes, Alison (North East Scotland) (LD)
          McMahon, Michael (Uddingston and Bellshill) (Lab)
          McMahon, Siobhan (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          McNeil, Duncan (Greenock and Inverclyde) (Lab)
          McTaggart, Anne (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Milne, Nanette (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Murray, Elaine (Dumfriesshire) (Lab)
          Pearson, Graeme (South Scotland) (Lab)
          Pentland, John (Motherwell and Wishaw) (Lab)
          Rennie, Willie (Mid Scotland and Fife) (LD)
          Rowley, Alex (Cowdenbeath) (Lab)
          Scanlon, Mary (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
          Scott, John (Ayr) (Con)
          Simpson, Dr Richard (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Smith, Drew (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Stewart, David (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)

          Against

          Adam, George (Paisley) (SNP)
          Adamson, Clare (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          Allan, Dr Alasdair (Na h-Eileanan an Iar) (SNP)
          Allard, Christian (North East Scotland) (SNP)
          Beattie, Colin (Midlothian North and Musselburgh) (SNP)
          Biagi, Marco (Edinburgh Central) (SNP)
          Brodie, Chic (South Scotland) (SNP)
          Brown, Keith (Clackmannanshire and Dunblane) (SNP)
          Burgess, Margaret (Cunninghame South) (SNP)
          Campbell, Aileen (Clydesdale) (SNP)
          Campbell, Roderick (North East Fife) (SNP)
          Coffey, Willie (Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley) (SNP)
          Constance, Angela (Almond Valley) (SNP)
          Crawford, Bruce (Stirling) (SNP)
          Cunningham, Roseanna (Perthshire South and Kinross-shire) (SNP)
          Dey, Graeme (Angus South) (SNP)
          Don, Nigel (Angus North and Mearns) (SNP)
          Doris, Bob (Glasgow) (SNP)
          Dornan, James (Glasgow Cathcart) (SNP)
          Eadie, Jim (Edinburgh Southern) (SNP)
          Ewing, Annabelle (Mid Scotland and Fife) (SNP)
          Fabiani, Linda (East Kilbride) (SNP)
          Finnie, John (Highlands and Islands) (Ind)
          FitzPatrick, Joe (Dundee City West) (SNP)
          Gibson, Kenneth (Cunninghame North) (SNP)
          Gibson, Rob (Caithness, Sutherland and Ross) (SNP)
          Grahame, Christine (Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale) (SNP)
          Harvie, Patrick (Glasgow) (Green)
          Hepburn, Jamie (Cumbernauld and Kilsyth) (SNP)
          Hyslop, Fiona (Linlithgow) (SNP)
          Ingram, Adam (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) (SNP)
          Johnstone, Alison (Lothian) (Green)
          Keir, Colin (Edinburgh Western) (SNP)
          Kidd, Bill (Glasgow Anniesland) (SNP)
          Lochhead, Richard (Moray) (SNP)
          Lyle, Richard (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          MacAskill, Kenny (Edinburgh Eastern) (SNP)
          MacDonald, Angus (Falkirk East) (SNP)
          MacDonald, Gordon (Edinburgh Pentlands) (SNP)
          Mackay, Derek (Renfrewshire North and West) (SNP)
          MacKenzie, Mike (Highlands and Islands) (SNP)
          Mason, John (Glasgow Shettleston) (SNP)
          Matheson, Michael (Falkirk West) (SNP)
          Maxwell, Stewart (West Scotland) (SNP)
          McAlpine, Joan (South Scotland) (SNP)
          McDonald, Mark (Aberdeen Donside) (SNP)
          McKelvie, Christina (Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse) (SNP)
          McLeod, Aileen (South Scotland) (SNP)
          McLeod, Fiona (Strathkelvin and Bearsden) (SNP)
          McMillan, Stuart (West Scotland) (SNP)
          Neil, Alex (Airdrie and Shotts) (SNP)
          Paterson, Gil (Clydebank and Milngavie) (SNP)
          Robertson, Dennis (Aberdeenshire West) (SNP)
          Russell, Michael (Argyll and Bute) (SNP)
          Stevenson, Stewart (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP)
          Stewart, Kevin (Aberdeen Central) (SNP)
          Swinney, John (Perthshire North) (SNP)
          Thompson, Dave (Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch) (SNP)
          Torrance, David (Kirkcaldy) (SNP)
          Urquhart, Jean (Highlands and Islands) (Ind)
          Wheelhouse, Paul (South Scotland) (SNP)
          White, Sandra (Glasgow Kelvin) (SNP)
          Wilson, John (Central Scotland) (Ind)
          Yousaf, Humza (Glasgow) (SNP)

          Abstentions

          Findlay, Neil (Lothian) (Lab)
          Fraser, Murdo (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
          Mitchell, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Con)
          Smith, Elaine (Coatbridge and Chryston) (Lab)

        • The Presiding Officer:

          The result of the division is: For 50, Against 64, Abstentions 4.

          Amendment disagreed to.

        • The Presiding Officer:

          The next question is, that motion S4M-13404, in the name of Fiona Hyslop, on the EU referendum, be agreed to. Are we agreed?

          Members: No.

        • The Presiding Officer:

          There will be a division.

          For

          Adam, George (Paisley) (SNP)
          Adamson, Clare (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          Allan, Dr Alasdair (Na h-Eileanan an Iar) (SNP)
          Allard, Christian (North East Scotland) (SNP)
          Beattie, Colin (Midlothian North and Musselburgh) (SNP)
          Biagi, Marco (Edinburgh Central) (SNP)
          Brodie, Chic (South Scotland) (SNP)
          Brown, Keith (Clackmannanshire and Dunblane) (SNP)
          Burgess, Margaret (Cunninghame South) (SNP)
          Campbell, Aileen (Clydesdale) (SNP)
          Campbell, Roderick (North East Fife) (SNP)
          Coffey, Willie (Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley) (SNP)
          Constance, Angela (Almond Valley) (SNP)
          Crawford, Bruce (Stirling) (SNP)
          Cunningham, Roseanna (Perthshire South and Kinross-shire) (SNP)
          Dey, Graeme (Angus South) (SNP)
          Don, Nigel (Angus North and Mearns) (SNP)
          Doris, Bob (Glasgow) (SNP)
          Dornan, James (Glasgow Cathcart) (SNP)
          Eadie, Jim (Edinburgh Southern) (SNP)
          Ewing, Annabelle (Mid Scotland and Fife) (SNP)
          Fabiani, Linda (East Kilbride) (SNP)
          FitzPatrick, Joe (Dundee City West) (SNP)
          Gibson, Kenneth (Cunninghame North) (SNP)
          Gibson, Rob (Caithness, Sutherland and Ross) (SNP)
          Grahame, Christine (Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale) (SNP)
          Hepburn, Jamie (Cumbernauld and Kilsyth) (SNP)
          Hyslop, Fiona (Linlithgow) (SNP)
          Ingram, Adam (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) (SNP)
          Keir, Colin (Edinburgh Western) (SNP)
          Kidd, Bill (Glasgow Anniesland) (SNP)
          Lochhead, Richard (Moray) (SNP)
          Lyle, Richard (Central Scotland) (SNP)
          MacAskill, Kenny (Edinburgh Eastern) (SNP)
          MacDonald, Angus (Falkirk East) (SNP)
          MacDonald, Gordon (Edinburgh Pentlands) (SNP)
          Mackay, Derek (Renfrewshire North and West) (SNP)
          MacKenzie, Mike (Highlands and Islands) (SNP)
          Mason, John (Glasgow Shettleston) (SNP)
          Matheson, Michael (Falkirk West) (SNP)
          Maxwell, Stewart (West Scotland) (SNP)
          McAlpine, Joan (South Scotland) (SNP)
          McDonald, Mark (Aberdeen Donside) (SNP)
          McKelvie, Christina (Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse) (SNP)
          McLeod, Aileen (South Scotland) (SNP)
          McLeod, Fiona (Strathkelvin and Bearsden) (SNP)
          McMillan, Stuart (West Scotland) (SNP)
          Neil, Alex (Airdrie and Shotts) (SNP)
          Paterson, Gil (Clydebank and Milngavie) (SNP)
          Robertson, Dennis (Aberdeenshire West) (SNP)
          Russell, Michael (Argyll and Bute) (SNP)
          Stevenson, Stewart (Banffshire and Buchan Coast) (SNP)
          Stewart, Kevin (Aberdeen Central) (SNP)
          Swinney, John (Perthshire North) (SNP)
          Thompson, Dave (Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch) (SNP)
          Torrance, David (Kirkcaldy) (SNP)
          Urquhart, Jean (Highlands and Islands) (Ind)
          Wheelhouse, Paul (South Scotland) (SNP)
          White, Sandra (Glasgow Kelvin) (SNP)
          Yousaf, Humza (Glasgow) (SNP)

          Against

          Brown, Gavin (Lothian) (Con)
          Buchanan, Cameron (Lothian) (Con)
          Carlaw, Jackson (West Scotland) (Con)
          Davidson, Ruth (Glasgow) (Con)
          Fergusson, Alex (Galloway and West Dumfries) (Con)
          Fraser, Murdo (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Con)
          Goldie, Annabel (West Scotland) (Con)
          Hume, Jim (South Scotland) (LD)
          Johnstone, Alex (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Lamont, John (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire) (Con)
          McArthur, Liam (Orkney Islands) (LD)
          McGrigor, Jamie (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
          McInnes, Alison (North East Scotland) (LD)
          Milne, Nanette (North East Scotland) (Con)
          Mitchell, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Con)
          Rennie, Willie (Mid Scotland and Fife) (LD)
          Scanlon, Mary (Highlands and Islands) (Con)
          Scott, John (Ayr) (Con)

          Abstentions

          Baillie, Jackie (Dumbarton) (Lab)
          Baker, Claire (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Baker, Richard (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Baxter, Jayne (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Beamish, Claudia (South Scotland) (Lab)
          Bibby, Neil (West Scotland) (Lab)
          Boyack, Sarah (Lothian) (Lab)
          Chisholm, Malcolm (Edinburgh Northern and Leith) (Lab)
          Dugdale, Kezia (Lothian) (Lab)
          Fee, Mary (West Scotland) (Lab)
          Ferguson, Patricia (Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn) (Lab)
          Findlay, Neil (Lothian) (Lab)
          Finnie, John (Highlands and Islands) (Ind)
          Grant, Rhoda (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
          Gray, Iain (East Lothian) (Lab)
          Griffin, Mark (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          Harvie, Patrick (Glasgow) (Green)
          Henry, Hugh (Renfrewshire South) (Lab)
          Johnstone, Alison (Lothian) (Green)
          Kelly, James (Rutherglen) (Lab)
          Lamont, Johann (Glasgow Pollok) (Lab)
          Macdonald, Lewis (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Malik, Hanzala (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Marra, Jenny (North East Scotland) (Lab)
          Martin, Paul (Glasgow Provan) (Lab)
          McCulloch, Margaret (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          McDougall, Margaret (West Scotland) (Lab)
          McMahon, Michael (Uddingston and Bellshill) (Lab)
          McMahon, Siobhan (Central Scotland) (Lab)
          McNeil, Duncan (Greenock and Inverclyde) (Lab)
          McTaggart, Anne (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Murray, Elaine (Dumfriesshire) (Lab)
          Pearson, Graeme (South Scotland) (Lab)
          Pentland, John (Motherwell and Wishaw) (Lab)
          Rowley, Alex (Cowdenbeath) (Lab)
          Simpson, Dr Richard (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Lab)
          Smith, Drew (Glasgow) (Lab)
          Smith, Elaine (Coatbridge and Chryston) (Lab)
          Stewart, David (Highlands and Islands) (Lab)
          Wilson, John (Central Scotland) (Ind)

        • The Presiding Officer:

          The result of the division is: For 60, Against 18, Abstentions 40.

          Motion agreed to,

          That the Parliament notes the publication of the European Union Referendum Bill on 28 May 2015 and the Prime Minister’s intention to renegotiate the UK’s terms of membership with the EU before a referendum; advocates the bill’s amendment to extend the voting franchise in the referendum to 16 and 17-year-olds and all EU citizens resident in the UK; calls for the introduction of a double majority to ensure that none of the four constituent parts of the UK can be taken out of the EU against the will of its people; recognises the great value of Scotland’s place in the EU and will make a positive case for Scotland and the UK remaining in the EU by highlighting the economic, social, cultural and educational benefits of EU membership, and advocates the constructive reform of the EU from within the existing treaty framework.

        • The Presiding Officer:

          The next question is, that motion S4M-13384, in the name of Liam McArthur, on the appointment of a member of the Standards Commission for Scotland, be agreed to.

          Motion agreed to,

          That the Parliament agrees, under section 8 of the Ethical Standards in Public Life etc. (Scotland) Act 2000, to appoint Kevin Dunion as a Member of the Standards Commission for Scotland.

      • Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 (10th Anniversary)
        • The Deputy Presiding Officer (John Scott):

          The final item of business is a members’ business debate on motion S4M-13316, in the name of Angus MacDonald, on the 10th anniversary of the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005. The debate will be concluded without any question being put.

          Members will be aware that there is a Gaelic translation service for the debate, as previously intimated by the Presiding Officer. Headsets have been placed on desks, and the service can be found on audio channel 2.

          Motion debated,

          That the Parliament notes the 10th anniversary on 1 June of the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 receiving Royal Assent; welcomes progress being made in bringing to fruition the priorities of the National Gaelic Language Plan; believes that Gaelic education has helped to reverse the decline of Scotland’s indigenous language; welcomes research conducted for Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), which found the value of Gaelic to businesses and communities to be up to £148.5 million per annum, demonstrating that what it considers the currently modest investment in Gaelic translates into a significant economic contribution, not just in the Highlands and Islands but in the central belt of Scotland; congratulates Bòrd na Gàidhlig on its work to promote the Gaelic language and culture and to encourage the many community groups that are creating opportunities for speakers of all ages and backgrounds while acknowledging that it is today’s young children who will keep Gaelic alive and flourishing in the future, and notes calls for all of Scotland to participate in the task already underway of stemming and reversing the decline of the Gaelic language to ensure its survival in the long term.

          17:07  
        • Angus MacDonald (Falkirk East) (SNP):

          Mòran taing, Oifigeir-riaghlaidh. Tha mi air mo dhòigh glan an cothrom seo fhaighinn gus an deasbad seo a thoirt ro sheòmar-deasbaid na Pàrlamaid agus bu mhath leam taing a thoirt dha na buill a chuir an ainmean ris a’ ghluasad a’ comharrachadh deich bliadhna de dh’Achd na Gàidhlig (Alba) 2005, a’ leigeil dhuinn an deasbad seo a chumail an-diugh.

          Tha an deasbad seo cudthromach air sgàth ’s gum feum sinn dèanamh cinnteach, mar Phàrlamaid agus mar Riaghaltas, ge brith dè ar pàrtaidhean poilitigeach, gum bi Gàidhlig ga bruidhinn agus ga cleachdadh ann an Alba agus gu bheil sinn a’ dealbhachadh àm ri teachd seasmhach dhan Ghàidhlig.

          Gu mì-fhortanach, feumaidh mi tionndadh air ais dhan Bheurla. ’S e mo leisgeul gur e townie a th’ annam à Steòrnabhagh bho thùs, agus tha fhios is cinnt nach eil Gàidhlig cho math aig coves Steòrnabhaigh.

          Following is the simultaneous interpretation:

          Many thanks, Presiding Officer. I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead this debate in the Parliament’s chamber. I thank members who added their names to the motion to commemorate and celebrate 10 years since the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 was passed and to enable the debate to go ahead.

          The debate is important, because we need to ensure as a Parliament and as a Government, whatever political party we belong to, that Gaelic continues to be spoken and used in Scotland and that we plan for a secure future for it.

          Unfortunately, I must go back to English. My excuse is that I am originally a townie from Stornoway, and it is an accepted fact that the Gaelic of Stornoway coves is not that good.

          The member continued in English.

          The debate is important because we have to ensure as a Parliament and as a Government of whatever political colour that Gaelic continues to be spoken and used in Scotland and that we create a sustainable future for the Gaelic language.

          We are here to highlight the on-going good work to stem the decline in our indigenous and precious language and to celebrate 10 years since the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 secured royal assent. That act not only established Bòrd na Gàidhlig as the public body responsible for the preservation of Gaelic but affirmed Gaelic as an official language of Scotland that enjoys equal respect with English. Sadly, that equal respect is not always evident, but I have been impressed by action that a number of public bodies have taken and by the efforts that they have made to promote Gaelic, which is a language that is dear to all, or at least most, of our hearts.

          I have been a strong supporter of Gaelic all my life. Both my grandfathers spoke Gaelic, and I was taught it as early as primary 1 in Sandwickhill primary school, which is just outside Stornoway. Sadly, that has not had the desired effect. To my shame as a Leòdhasach, I am not fluent in the language of my ancestors, although I hope to sort that at some point in the not-too-distant future. I admit that I have been promising that for a while.

          I have supported the language all my political life and I successfully attracted the Royal National Mod to Falkirk in 2008. As the convener of the local organising committee, I hoped to leave a lasting legacy for Gaelic in Falkirk district, and I am glad to say that the Falkirk Gaelic forum has carried that work forward.

          In Falkirk, the Scottish Government provides a specific grant for Gaelic and has offered to discuss the potential of capital for any project support that may be identified. Falkirk Council has actively embraced the Gaelic language in primary school—GLPS—programme: 25 per cent of Falkirk Council primary schools deliver GLPS and a total of 26 members of staff will have been trained to deliver the programme by the end of March 2016. Although there is no Gaelic-medium education in Falkirk, the council supports all applications and provides free transport, which allows pupils to attend GME outwith the authority’s area, usually at neighbouring GME schools in Stirling and North Lanarkshire.

          Falkirk’s Gaelic language plan is monitored by the Falkirk Council officers group and Falkirk community group, with input from Fèis Fhoirt, An Clas Gàidhlig, An Comunn Gàidhealach, Falkirk junior Gaelic choir and Falkirk Gaelic forum. The groups track the plan’s progress and suggest action to further develop the language. Falkirk Council is one of 40 public authorities that have had Gaelic plans agreed by Bòrd na Gàidhlig, and although, sadly, Falkirk’s Gaelic language plan has already missed some of its targets, I hope that it will catch up, with a bit of encouragement from the forum.

          I am pleased to say that, within the past week, a Gaelic development officer has been appointed in a joint project between Falkirk Council and the Falkirk Gaelic forum, which will allow further language and cultural development of Gaelic to be delivered throughout nurseries and schools. The development officer will also deliver staff training, carry out a feasibility study for GME and create a greater profile for Gaelic in the Falkirk area. That is an extremely heartening development.

          Plenty of good work is going on locally in Falkirk. Nationally, we are well over halfway through the national Gaelic language plan for 2012 to 2017, which places a strong focus on the role that Gaelic-medium education has to play in future years to increase the numbers of young Gaelic speakers and ensure that the language has a sustainable and vibrant future. The use of Gaelic in the home and in the community is a strong element of that.

          The 2011 census figures provided positive news about Gaelic in Scotland. The statistics showed an overall trend in which the number of Gaelic speakers had more or less stabilised in comparison with figures from the 2001 census. There are 57,000 Gaelic speakers in Scotland, and in excess of 90,000 people have some ability in the language. The results also showed a small increase in the number of people under 20 who can speak Gaelic and showed that more than 14,000 children between the ages of five and 18 are learning the language at different levels across Scotland each week.

          One aspect of Gaelic that is not broadcast enough is its economic and social benefits. A joint agency research project that was published last year looked at the ways in which Gaelic is being used to deliver economic and social benefits to businesses, social enterprises and communities and at how its impact can be maximised. Entitled “Ar Stòras Gàidhlig”—or “Our Gaelic Resource”—the report demonstrates how the language is being used to add value in a wide variety of circumstances and highlights Gaelic’s considerable potential to bring further benefits to businesses, communities and individuals.

          Almost 70 per cent of the businesses that were consulted said that Gaelic is an asset to their activities and more than half of businesses—60 per cent—and 85 per cent of community organisations that responded to the survey stated that Gaelic features as a key element of their work. From that result, the researchers calculated that the economic value of Gaelic as an asset to the wider Scottish economy could be up to £148.5 million a year.

          The findings of the research demonstrate emphatically that investment by the Scottish Government in Gaelic translates into a significant economic contribution not just in the Highlands and Islands but in the central belt. It is worth noting that, when the Mod was held in Falkirk in 2008, it attracted £1.5 million to the local economy, just when we were struggling with the economic downturn. Figures for last year’s Mod in Inverness show that it took in more than £3 million for the local economy.

          Previous studies have shown that, relative to its size, the Gaelic community punches well above its weight in its contribution in a range of sectors. Loyalty to language and culture is a powerful motivating force and it is encouraging to see the growing support for Gaelic at grass-roots and institutional levels and to see the economic benefits as well as the social, cultural and linguistic benefits that accrue from the concerted action that is being developed.

          With such figures, there is hope for our precious indigenous language, but only if we all work to ensure its survival and growth. I am committed to playing my part and I hope that everyone else is too. Mòran taing.

          17:15  
        • Michael Russell (Argyll and Bute) (SNP):

          Oifigeir-riaghlaidh, tha mi a’ cur fàilte air Aonghas Dòmhnallach airson an deasbad seo a chur air dòigh agus tha mi fìor thoilichte pàirt a ghabhail ann, agus gus an deicheamh ceann-bliadhna aig Achd na Gàidhlig (Alba) 2005 a chomharrachadh. ’S e ceum cudthromach air adhart a bh’ anns an achd ach cha bu chòir dhuinn a bhith dìreach a’ coimhead air ais an-diugh, ach a bhith a’ coimhead air adhart cuideachd.

          Tha cor nas fheàrr air a’ Ghàidhlig an-diugh na bha oirre mus robh an achd ann, ach feumar barrachd a dhèanamh ma tha Gàidhlig gu bhith seasmhach airson nan ginealach ri tighinn agus gus an tèid againn air ràdh gu fìrinneach gur e dùthaich trì-ghuthach a tha seo, mar a chaidh a chur an cèill ann an dàn le Iain Mac a’ Ghobhainn aig fosgladh Pàrlamaid na h-Alba.

          Following is the simultaneous interpretation:

          I congratulate Angus MacDonald on securing the debate, and I warmly welcome the chance to contribute and to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005. That act was a good step forward, but we should not only look back today but look ahead as well.

          Gaelic is in a better condition today than it was before the act but more must be done if we are to secure Gaelic for future generations and assert with truth that this is a three-voiced country, as the poem by Iain Crichton Smith asserted at the opening of this Scottish Parliament.

          The member continued in English.

          Of course, that is just three voices. English, Gaelic and Scots may be uniquely ours—and I include English because TS Eliot once contended that English was only spoken properly in Richmond, Virginia, and in Edinburgh—but there are now other voices to be heard in our land.

          Our first obligation is to the languages that belong to us. It will be our fault and nobody else’s if Gaelic does not survive. It is possible to countenance such an outcome—languages die every year in our world. The present Scottish Government has halted the precipitate decline of Gaelic over the last century, but we are still perilously close to the cliff edge. It is a cliff edge of an increasingly elderly population for whom Gaelic is their first language and a younger population that sometimes does not value what it has inherited.

          Although we should be glad of, celebrate and support all the work that has gone on to get us to this stage, there is much more to do. We need to create a new generation of Gaelic speakers and our educational system will not yet do that. We certainly need more Gaelic-medium schools, but we also need a substantial expansion in opportunities for adult learners and we need to create some places and spaces where Gaelic is not optional or desirable but essential. There have been ideas about how that might be done over the years, but those proposals now need urgent attention and action.

          I know that the minister is more than sympathetic to this cause. He is an example to us all—a Gaelic learner who is fluent and a Scots speaker who wrote his thesis in the language. He is truly three voiced. However, he also knows that he is the exception and that, if we are to grow languages, as the Government, to its credit, is trying to do, we need resources and commitment for the long term and for those—the rest of us—who are not exceptions.

          We also need to move on in legislative terms. My own Gaelic Language (Scotland) Bill—the first Gaelic language bill—was introduced as a member’s bill in 2002 out of desperation at the failure of the first Scottish Government to honour its promises. The bill was voted down by that coalition Government so that it could introduce its own legislation, which, to its credit, it did in the second session.

          The 2005 act was always seen as a start, not a conclusion. We now need to consider a wider piece of language legislation that encompasses the many-voiced nation we have become and that also strengthens our commitment to our two indigenous languages and focuses our resources where they are needed most to make Gaelic survive. That is a challenge that we should all rise to, perhaps in the next session of the Parliament, because there is still much to be done.

          17:19  
        • Lewis Macdonald (North East Scotland) (Lab):

          Bu mhath leam meal a naidheachd a chur air Aonghas Dòmhnallach airson an deasbad seo a chur ri chèile. Tha mi den bheachd gur sinne dithis de na chiad daoine anns na teaghlaichean againn fhèin a tha air Beurla a bhruidhinn mar chiad chànan, agus gu bheil an dithis againn airson dèanamh cinnteach gum bi cumhachd aig na daoine anns an àm ri teachd gus Gàidhlig a bhruidhinn.

          Following is the simultaneous interpretation:

          I congratulate Angus MacDonald on securing the debate. I have the idea that we are both the first people in our own families to speak English as our first language and that we both want to ensure that those who follow us will have the ability to speak the Gaelic language.

          The member continued in English.

          The Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 was brought forward 10 years ago by the Scottish Executive in which I served. The land, the language and the people of the Gàidhealtachd have always mattered a great deal to my party, Scottish Labour. For me, that act is one of the things that we created the Parliament in order to bring about.

          The act affirmed Gaelic as an official language of Scotland and created Bòrd na Gàidhlig to sustain that status for the future. The board has enjoyed cross-party support throughout the past 10 years, and I am confident that that will continue. However, political good will, on its own, is not enough. If Gaelic is to contribute to our future as well as our past, that will require people to speak it and children to learn it as a first language. It will require visible and audible commitments from public bodies across Scotland to its official status, and it will require Gaelic to continue as a language of music and the media, culture and creativity, as well as of home and school.

          That is why Gaelic language plans are so important, not just in the Highlands and Islands and the central belt but in the north-east of Scotland. Aberdeen City Council has been considering its Gaelic language plan today, following the adoption of similar plans by the University of Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire Council and the Cairngorms National Park Authority. Although councillors have to be comfortable with the plan, Scotland’s third city must not fall too far behind Glasgow and Edinburgh in providing leadership in delivering public policy on language and culture in our cities, with cross-party support. After all, Aberdeen is the city with the highest proportion of citizens who were born outwith these islands altogether. As a multilingual and multicultural city, Aberdeen should be second to none in recognising and celebrating its cultural diversity.

          A good deal is already going on in schools there, as I know from my family. My daughter lona sat her higher Gàidhlig a few weeks ago, having been taught through the medium of Gaelic at nursery and primary school since the age of two. She has spent most of her 17 years learning and speaking the Gaelic language and, incidentally, her skills in the English language are all the better as a result. However, like other places, Aberdeen needs a step change in the scale of Gaelic-medium activity in schools, cultural activities and language learning. That is why the city’s Gaelic language plan needs to be delivered sooner rather than later.

          It is important, not just in Aberdeen but across the country, that more is done to enable children and young people to study Gaelic without losing access to other modern languages. A bilingual education equips children brilliantly to add further languages as they progress through school, but in practice many pupils who choose to keep up their Gaelic at secondary school have little opportunity to learn other modern languages until they reach secondary 6. I hope that the minister will say what more the Government will do to increase the uptake of all modern languages in view of the falls at national 5 level that were recorded in the last school year.

          A great deal has been achieved in the decade since the 2005 act was passed, but there remains a great deal still to do. Like the other speakers, I look forward to an ever-higher profile for the Gaelic language and culture in Aberdeen and across Scotland in the future.

          Mòran taing.

          17:23  
        • Mary Scanlon (Highlands and Islands) (Con):

          I join other members in supporting the motion and its sentiment. I thank Angus MacDonald for securing the debate and giving us the opportunity to discuss Gaelic. The collective efforts to ensure the preservation of Gaelic appear to be bearing fruit but, as we will all agree, there is still much more to do.

          Like other members who are present, I remember the passing of the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005. I remember John Farquhar Munro and Alasdair Morrison. I do not know whether I am speaking out of turn, but I always felt that, for the two of them, English seemed to be a second language. They were very familiar with Gaelic, as they had been brought up as native Gaelic speakers.

          As with Lewis Macdonald and Angus MacDonald, my mother was brought up with English as her second language, as she was brought up in Ranafast and Dungloe in Donegal, an area with which Willie Coffey is familiar. Therefore, I am the first on my mother’s side of the family to speak English as a first language. They never called it “the Gaelic”; they did not call it “the Gay-lic”—it was indeed “Irish”. They spoke, and they still speak, Irish or English.

          I welcome the considerable improvements towards reversing the decline of the Gaelic language, as well as the economic benefits of the culture, on which so much was said by Angus MacDonald in his opening statement and which Highlands and Islands Enterprise also found. It is worth putting on record that it is also Bórd na Gàidhlig’s 10th anniversary as the body responsible for the promotion of the Gaelic culture and language.

          Gaelic is an integral part of the history and traditions of the Highlands and Islands but also of those across Scotland. The Scottish social attitudes survey 2012 found that 76 per cent of those surveyed viewed Gaelic as important to our heritage and culture and 81 per cent wished there to be at least as many Gaelic speakers as there are now in 50 years’ time. However, only 45 per cent expected that to be the case, so the improvements in Gaelic education and promotion must continue to help confound that fairly pessimistic prediction.

          I think that we can all claim success. Labour, the Lib Dems and the SNP contributed, but the Conservatives also contributed to Gaelic culture and language during the 1990s, and they established the first Gaelic-medium unit in a school in Lewis in 1986. In fact, the precursor to BBC Alba—the Gaelic television fund—was established by the Secretary of State for Scotland in 1990 and expanded further in 1996 to include radio broadcasting. We can all take a bit of credit, but we can also say that there is still much more to do.

          One of the success stories in Scottish education over the past 30 years has been the expansion of Gaelic education, with the number of children in Gaelic-medium education rising from 24, with the establishment of the Gaelic-medium unit at Breasclete school in 1986, to more than 3,500 last year. Since the beginning of the national Gaelic language plan, we have seen the number of those pupils rise by nearly a quarter, and the number of Gaelic-learner classes has risen by 12 per cent since 2001.

          In finishing, I do not mean to be party political, but I think that it has to be mentioned that the 2011 Scottish National Party manifesto stated the intention to examine

          “how we can introduce an entitlement to Gaelic medium education”.

          Fair dos—that is exactly what it said. As a member of the Education and Culture Committee, I think that it is worth noting that the Education (Scotland) Bill does not give an entitlement to Gaelic education but gives education authorities a fairly lukewarm duty

          “to assess the need for Gaelic medium education”

          following a parental request and a further duty to actively promote and support Gaelic-medium education. Therefore it falls well short of an entitlement.

          That said, I very much welcome the progress, I welcome the debate and I hope for another successful 10 years.

          Deicheamh co-latha-breith sona—I think that that is “Happy 10th birthday”.

          17:28  
        • Jean Urquhart (Highlands and Islands) (Ind):

          I too congratulate Angus MacDonald on bringing this important debate to the chamber. I am sorry that I am unable to speak in one of Scotland’s other languages in this debate.

          Surely there can be little doubt of the value of the Gaelic language, given the number of economic, cultural and any number of other consultations that have been carried out in recent decades, perhaps culminating 10 years ago, we might have hoped, in the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005.

          All that has been achieved across all the political parties and none. Those lobbying for recognition and promotion of the language have done well in achieving that.

          It seems to me now that we do not need more Gaelic language plans or consultations, more evidence or further justification for language development. We now need to promote the worth of the language, as people are establishing here tonight, and the opportunities that it provides. Those could be opportunities, as Angus MacDonald has highlighted, in the new Gaelic economy. It could be opportunities in preschool and primary education for both children and teachers.

          When learning a language such as French in school, children are not taught on a word-for-word basis but, instead, learn about the country, its people, its history, its geography, its food, its industry, its produce and its culture. So it is with Gaelic. Many of the children who attend school in the Highlands and Islands, the region that I represent, come from across the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe. They are putting down roots and are learning much more than just the language. Although their granny might be in Manchester or Shetland, they are, through the indigenous language of the Gàidhealtachd, confidently establishing their roots in the local community.

          In times past, parents would speak in Gaelic when they did not want their children to know what they were talking about. That is reversed in many households across the Highlands and Islands today, with children speaking in Gaelic when they do not want their parents to know what they are talking about.

          I have to mention the lobby against the investment in Gaelic, whether those efforts concern education or road signs. I believe that it is incumbent on all members of this place to challenge that opposition and to make the positive case that has evolved since the introduction of the 2005 act.

          Now that we are where we are, I also call on the Gaelic-speaking community to show its support for Scotland’s other languages. The chamber was recently united in welcoming Scotland’s culturally diverse communities. I think that we have to show the same commitment to recognising how culturally diverse Scotland herself is and to highlighting the wealth of Scottish languages, such as Lallans and Doric. They are called dialects, but I would argue with anyone who says that that is what they are. Anyone who speaks in strong Doric or Shetlandic certainly appears to have a language of their own, and we must celebrate that.

          I have sympathy with Angus MacDonald’s as-yet unfulfilled ambition to become fluent in the Gaelic language. I have promised myself on several occasions to do the same.

          Mary Scanlon has highlighted the difference between the SNP manifesto and the current policy. In 2011, I stood on a manifesto that said that the SNP would support the expansion of Gaelic-medium education “where reasonable demand exists”. Further, the 2007 manifesto said:

          “We will guarantee in law the right to a Gaelic-medium education”.

          There might be practical reasons for that change, but I ask the minister and the Scottish Government to review the situation and continue to show that Scotland needs to recognise the worth of the Gaelic language, for all of the reasons that have been stated.

          17:33  
        • Dave Thompson (Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch) (SNP):

          Tapadh leibh, Oifigeir-riaghlaidh. Tha mi a’ cur meala naidheachd air Aonghas Dòmhnallach airson an gluasad seo a chur air beulaibh na Pàrlamaid. Tha mi toilichte a bhith a’ comharrachadh deich bliadhna on a thàinig Achd na Gàidhlig (Alba) 2005 gu bith. Bu chòirear beachdachadh air buaidh Achd na Gàidhlig le pròis ach le sùil, cuideachd, air mar a ghabhadh an tuilleadh neartachaidh a thoirt air suidheachadh na Gàidhlig.

          Thug an achd dhuinn bunait airson spèis co-ionann ris a’ Bheurla a thoirt don Ghàidhlig. Thug i dhuinn Bòrd na Gàidhlig le dleastanas plana nàiseanta Gàidhlig a dheasachadh, a’ stèidheachadh slighe air adhart don chànan. Tha cead aig a’ bhòrd iarraidh air buidhnean poblach planaichean Gàidhlig a chur an gnìomh. Tha iomadh rud feumail air tachairt ri a linn. Tha an cànan nas follaisiche. Tha na h-ealain Ghàidhlig gan adhartachadh le Alba Chruthachail is eile. Tha an àireamh de dh’inbhich ag ionnsachadh na Gàidhlig air èirigh.

          Thug Achd na Gàidhlig buaidh air poileasaidhean an Riaghaltais. Tha Riaghaltas na h-Alba air taic a chumail ri BBC Alba, ged a tha craoladh fhathast fo smachd Pàrlamaid Westminster.

          Thàinig ro-innleachd airson foghlam Gàidhlig tro Achd na Gàidhlig. Tha àireamh sgoilearan ann am foghlam tron Ghàidhlig air èirigh, agus tha taic ann bhon Riaghaltas seo airson sgoiltean Gàidhlig fa leth. Bu chòirear a bhith dòchasach mun àm ri teachd an dèidh toradh a’ chunntais-shluaigh mu dheireadh, agus bidh cothrom eile againn rùn Achd na Gàidhlig a neartachadh tro Bhile an Fhoghlaim (Alba). Tha sinn mothachail air an fhianais a nochd ann am freagairtean do Chomataidh an Fhoghlaim agus a’ Chultair, agus tha e follaiseach gu bheil cuid a dh’eòlaichean air a’ Ghàidhlig den bheachd nach eil am bile a’ dol fada gu leòr. Tha cuid den bharail gum feum còir laghail shoilleir a bhith ann air foghlam tron Ghàidhlig, nuair a tha iarrtas reusanta ann air a shon—cho math ri stiùireadh reachdail—ma tha foghlam na Gàidhlig gu bhith ga neartachadh agus ga leudachadh. Bhiodh sin a rèir gheallaidhean a thug sinn seachad agus bu chòir dhuinn a h-uile oidhirp a dhèanamh na geallaidhean sin a choileanadh.

          Tha mi an dòchas gun èist Comataidh an Fhoghlaim agus a’ Chultair gu cùramach ris na beachdan a tha air nochdadh agus gum bi am ministear deònach gabhail ri atharrachaidhean sa bhile, gus an dèanar cinnteach gun gabh iarrtasan phàrantan airson foghlam Gàidhlig a choileanadh. Chan e seo an t-àm airson deasbad mu dheidhinn sin, ach chan ann tric a tha laghan gan cruthachadh a dh’fhaodadh suidheachadh na Gàidhlig a chuideachadh.

          Aig a’ cheann thall, bheireadh am bile ùr cothrom dhuinn buaidh thaiceil a thoirt air mar a tha sinn a’ coileanadh amasan Achd na Gàidhlig.

          Mu dheireadh, tha e iomchaidh taing a thoirt dhan a h-uile duine a tha an sàs gu dealasach a’ brosnachadh agus a’ leasachadh na Gàidhlig, ga teagasg agus ga cleachdadh nan obair làitheil agus nan coimhearsnachdan.

          Following is the simultaneous interpretation:

          I congratulate Angus MacDonald on bringing the motion before Parliament. I am happy that we are marking 10 years since the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 was enacted. We should consider the effect of the act with pride, but with an eye to what still needs to be done to strengthen the position of Gaelic.

          The act gave us the basis for promoting Gaelic and for giving it the same respect as English. It gave us Bòrd na Gàidhlig, which has a duty to prepare a national Gaelic language plan that establishes a way forward for the language. The board has the ability to ask public bodies to deliver Gaelic language plans. Many beneficial things have happened as a result of it. The language is more visible, the Gaelic arts are being promoted by Creative Scotland and the number of adults who are learning the language has increased.

          The 2005 act has influenced the Government’s policies. The Scottish Government has supported BBC Alba, even although broadcasting is reserved to the Westminster Parliament.

          A strategy for Gaelic education resulted from the 2005 act. The number of pupils in Gaelic-medium education has increased and there is support from the Government for stand-alone Gaelic schools. We should be hopeful for the future, following the results of the last census. We will have an additional opportunity to strengthen the spirit of the act through the Education (Scotland) Bill. Being mindful of the evidence that has been forthcoming in submissions to the Education and Culture Committee, I say that it is clear that some people who are knowledgeable about matters of Gaelic are of the opinion that the bill does not go far enough. Some are of the view that there must be a legal right to Gaelic education when reasonable demand has been demonstrated, as well as statutory guidance if Gaelic education is to be strengthened and expanded. That would be in line with promises that have been made, so we should strive to fulfil those promises.

          I hope that the Education and Culture Committee will carefully note the views that have come forward and that the minister would be willing to consider amendments to the bill that would ensure that parental demand for Gaelic education is met. Now is not the time for a debate on matter, but it is not often that legislation is prepared that could help to strengthen Gaelic.

          In the final analysis, the new bill gives us an opportunity to have a positive influence on how we deliver the aspirations of the 2005 act.

          Finally, it is appropriate to thank all those who diligently promote and develop Gaelic, those who teach it and those who use it in their daily work and in their communities.

          17:37  
        • John Finnie (Highlands and Islands) (Ind):

          Mòran taing, Presiding Officer. Tha mi ag iarraidh taing a thoirt dha Aonghas Dòmhnallach airson na h-obrach cudthromaich aige, gu h-àiraid air a’ ghluasad seo. Tha mi cuideach ag iarraidh taing a thoirt dha Bòrd na Gàidhlig, agus gach buidheann is neach a tha ag obair airson Gàidhlig a dhèanamh nas làidir. Tha fhios agam gu bheil iad uile ag obair gu cruaidh airson a’ chànain.

          Chan eil mi fileanta sa Ghàidhlig, ach tha mi ag ionnsachadh barrachd gach latha. Tha mo nighean fileanta agus bidh an dithis dheugairean aice ga bruidhinn cuideachd. Tha ban-ogha agam na sgoilear aig Àrd-sgoil Ghàidhlig Ghlaschu agus bidh mac mo mhic ag ionnsachadh aig an sgoil-àraich ann an Dùn Èideann. Tha tòrr teaghlaichean mar seo anns an latha an-duigh is bu chòir dhuinn uile a bhith a’ faireachdainn dòchasach mun àm ri teachd.

          Nuair a bha mi nam bhall-comhairle ann an Inbhir Nis, bha a’ bhun-sgoil Ghàidhlig anns an sgìre agam. Sin a’ chiad sgoil a bha air an togail gu sònraichte airson a bhith na sgoil Ghàidhlig. An-duigh, tha a’ bhun-sgoil gus a bhith làn—naidheachd glè mhath. A bharrachd air seo, tha mi glè thoilichte gu bheil Sabhal Mòr Ostaig cho soirbheachail. Tha e air tòrr oileanaich a tharraing bho iomadh duthaich dhan Eilean Sgitheanach, far a bheil an ath-bheothachadh seo air iomadh buannachd a thoirt dhan sgìre.

          Mar a tha an gluasad ag ràdh, tha an sgeulachd de Gàidhlig air a bhith fìor shoirbheachail—cho soirbheachail gu bheil e a’ togail £150 millean not. Chaidh ceudan de bliadhnaichean seachad agus cha robh cothrom aig a’ chànan a bhith a’ fàs. Ach an-duigh tha an cultar againn beò is soirbheachail, tha an ceòl àlainn is tha na seinneadairean tàlantach againn ainmeil air feadh an t-saoghail.

          Ged a bheil seo fìor, chan eil a h-uile rud math. Feumaidh sinn barrachd obair a dhèanamh air rudan mar na h-àireamhean de cuspairean a th’ ann an àrd-sgoiltean. Ach tha fios aig a’ mhinistear gu bheil trioblaid le sin ann an sgoiltean Beurla cuideachd. Feumaidh sinn obair ann an dòigh shùbailte—a’ cleachdadh teicneòlas agus ag obair ri chèile—airson dèanabh cinnteach gu bheil cothroman sgoinneil aig a’ chloinn againn. Ma tha sinn a’ coimhead air ais 10 bliadhna, tha e furasda fhaicinn gu bheil rudan nas fheàrr, ach tha tòrr ri dhèanamh fhathast a thaobh nan cothroman a th’ ann airson luchd-ionnsachaidh a tha air an sgoil fhàgail cuideachd.

          Tha mi ag iarraidh rudeigin a chantainn mu dheidhinn cànan eile a-nis: Scots. Tha mi airson faicinn an uiread de adhartas is urram a tha an cànan Gàidhlig a’ faighinn airson a’ chànain Scots cuideachd. Tha e ceart gur e nàisean ùr, nuadh a th’ ann an Alba, ach bu chòir dhuinn urram a toirt do ar n-eachdraidh.

          Tha mi glè thoilichte beagan Gàidhlig a bhruidhinn nar Pàrlamaid a-rithist. Feumaidh sinn cleachdadh na Gàidhlg—ciamar a chanas mi “normalise”?—anns a’ Phàrlamaid.

          Following is the simultaneous interpretation:

          I congratulate Angus MacDonald on his work and on the motion, which is very important. I also congratulate Bòrd na Gàidhlig and all the other Gaelic organisations and Gaelic workers on all their work. I know that they are all very busy working for the language.

          I am not a native Gaelic speaker, but I am learning every day. My daughter is fluent, and my two teenage granddaughters are fluent, as well. I have a granddaughter at Glasgow high school and a grandson who goes to the Gaelic nursery in Edinburgh. Many more families are now like that. We must all feel positive about the years ahead.

          When I was a councillor in Inverness, Bun-sgoil Ghàidhlig Inbhir Nis was in my ward; it was Scotland’s first purpose-built Gaelic school. It is bigger now and we need more places because our schools are very busy, which is good news. Likewise, I am pleased that Sabhal Mòr Ostaig has many students from many countries and is an international success. SMO is on Skye, and the surrounding area of the south of Skye has flourished because of the Gaelic language.

          As the motion says, Gaelic is an economic success—a near-£150 million success. For centuries our culture was not allowed to flourish, but now, because of our beautiful Gaelic music and our many great singers, Gaelic is known and loved in many countries.

          Not everything is good. Some things, like the number of subjects that are taught at our Gaelic high schools, could be better. However, as the minister knows, that also applies to English language schools. We must use flexibility and technology to get the number of pupils who are needed for any class, whether in Gaelic or English, to be a success. Opportunities for adult learners could be better, too. However, if we look over the past 10 years there has been progress and much good work has been done.

          I want to say something about another language: Scots. I want to see the respect that is now given to Gaelic being given to Scots, as well. Scotland is a modern nation that must respect its past and its history.

          I am happy to be able to speak a little in Gaelic in our nation’s Parliament again. We must be able to normalise speaking the Gaelic language in the Parliament.

          17:42  
        • The Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages (Dr Alasdair Allan):

          Tapadh leibh, Oifigear-riaghlaidh. Tha e na thoileachadh dhòmhsa gu bheil Pàrlamaid na h-Alba a’ comharrachadh a’ chinn-là shònraichte seo den reachdas a th’ air a bhith cho cudthromach don Ghàidhlig, agus do dh’Alba. Meal a naidheachd air Aonghas Dòmhnallach airson an deasbad seo a chumail agus tha mi cuideachd ag aithneachadh na h-obrach fìor mhath a tha e air a bhith a’ dèanamh anns an Eaglais Bhric airson na Gàidhlig.

          Tha mi air a bhith ag èisteachd gu dlùth ri gach ball a th’ air a bhith a’ bruidhinn an-diugh anns an deasbad inntinneach seo. Tha mi toilichte gu bheil taic airson na Gàidhlig san t-seòmar bho gach pàrtaidh. Mar eisimpleir, mar a thuirt Lewis Dòmhnallach, ’s e Riaghaltas Làbarach-Lib Deamach aig an àm a thug Achd na Gàidhlig (Alba) 2005 tron Phàrlamaid, agus gu dearbh tha Màiri Scanlon ceart a ràdh gun do thòisich fàs ann an craoladh na Gàidhlig—telebhisean na Gàidhlig co-dhiù—fo smachd Riaghaltas Tòraidh, agus tha dleastanas leantainneach againn obrachadh còmhla gus suidheachadh na Gàidhlig a chumail seasmhach agus brìghmhor san àm ri teachd.

          Tha ar mion-chànain agus ar cànain dùthchasach cudthromach dhuinn uile. Tha mi a’ smaoineachadh air Albais cuideachd, agus tha buill ceart a bhith a’ bruidhinn mu dheidhinn sin. Tha mi a’ creidsinn nach eil for aig mòran gu bheil deich cànain dùthchasach air am bruidhinn an-diugh air feadh Eileanan Bhreatainn agus gu bheil iad a’ smaointinn gu bheil sinn uile aon-chànanach. Tha seo fada bhon fhìrinn. Tha daoine bho gach cèarn de na h-eileanan seo a’ cleachdadh chànan dùthchasach a bharrachd air a’ Bheurla airson conaltradh le caraidean, càirdean, luchd-teagaisg, luchd-obrach agus seirbheisean poblach. Ged a tha iad nam mion-shluagh, chan eil e a’ leantainn nach eil iad ann.

          Tha e doirbh airson muinntir na h-Alba ar cànain a leigeil seachad. Tha iad mun cuairt oirnn uile agus togaidh iad aire gach Albannach uaireigin. Tha iad nar beanntan is nar n-uisgeachan-beatha. Tha iad nar ceòl is nar bàrdachd, nar n-eachdraidh, nar n-ainmean-àite is nar poileataics cuideachd. Gu dearbh tha amharas agam, san aonamh linn air fhichead, far a bheil sinn a’ faireachdainn nas aon-chànanaich gach latha, gu bheil barrachd chothroman ar cànain fhaicinn, a chluinntinn agus a leughadh an-diugh ann an Alba na bh’ ann an linn sam bith roimhe. Cha ghabh an diùltadh mar eileamaid de ar dualchas agus tha e ceart gum bu chòir ar cànain fhaicinn is a chluinntinn.

          Tha Achd na Gàidhlig (Alba) 2005 air a bhith cudthromach don Ghàidhlig airson iomadh adhbhar. An toiseach, thug an reachdas dhuinn na briathran cudthromach mu spèis co-ionann ris a’ Bheurla agus chan fhuilear dhuinn seo a dhìochuimhneachadh. Thug e inbhe don Ghàidhlig mar chànan nàiseanta na h-Alba. Tha seo cudthromach do dhearbh-aithne ar dùthcha, san àm a dh’fhalbh agus san àm ri teachd.

          Tha na cumhachdan agus dleastanasan a thug an reachdas seo don bhòrd—plana Gàidhlig nàiseanta ullachadh agus iarraidh air buidhnean poblach planaichean Gàidhlig aca fhèin ullachadh—air a bhith a cheart cho cudthromach, a’ sealltainn gu bheil taic ann airson ar cànain nàiseanta ann am beatha phoblach na h-Alba.

          A dh’aindeoin bhriathran an aghaidh ar cànain a chluinnear uaireannan bho earrannan de na meadhanan—bha Jean Urquhart a’ bruidhinn mu dheidhinn seo, tha mi a’ creidsinn—tha planaichean Gàidhlig air a bhith cudthromach airson an suidheachadh far a bheil sinn an-diugh a ruighinn. Às aonais nam planaichean seo, cha bhiodh sinn air aire dhaoine a thogail chun na h-ìre seo agus cha bhiodh an ìre de ghnìomhan agus seirbheisean rim faighinn tro mheadhan na Gàidhlig a gheibhear an-diugh bho na buidhnean poblach. Anns na planaichean aig ùghdarrasan ionadail gu h-àraidh, cha bhiodh an aon adhartas air a bhith ann a thaobh an taice a chuirear ri leasachadh agus fàs ann am foghlam Gàidhlig aig gach ìre.

          Tha adhartas lìonmhor air a bhith san taic a chithear don Ghàidhlig o chionn ghoirid a thaobh ealain, cultar agus foghlam. Anns na meadhanan agus craoladh, tha sinn cuideachd air deagh adhartas fhaicinn. Tha sinn a’ faicinn cho soirbheachail ’s a tha MG Alba air a bhith ag obrachadh leis a’ BhBC. Tha an com-pàirteachas seo air mòran a choileanadh ann an ùine ghoirid agus tha seo air beairteas a thoirt do shuidheachadh craolaidh na h-Alba. Tha gnìomhan MG Alba air taic a thoirt don eaconamaidh cuideachd le barrachd air £9 millean air a thoirt seachad do chompanaidhean ionadail airson riochdachadh phrògraman.

          Ann an raon an fhoghlaim, tha an àireamh de sgoilearan a’ tòiseachadh sa bhun-sgoil air fàs bho 386 ann an 2007 gu 556 ann an 2014. Le taic bhon mhaoin chalpa airson sgoiltean Ghàidhlig chunnaic sinn foghlam tro mheadhan na Gàidhlig air a sgaoileadh air feadh Alba, le iomadh sgoil agus aonad Gàidhlig air fhosgladh neo air a leudachadh, nam measg Obar Pheallaidh, Bogh Mòr, Comar nan Allt, Dùn Èideann, Glaschu, An Gearasdan, Gleann Urchadain, Inbhir Nis, Irbhinn, Cille Mheàrnaig, an t-Òban agus Port Rìgh. Tha foghlam air leth cudthromach don chànan san àm ri teachd. Às a leth, chan fhaic sinn a-chaoidh na h-àireamhan airson seasmhachd a thoirt don Ghàidhlig.

          Bha ball no dhà a’ togail phuingean mu dheidhinn Bile an Fhoghlaim (Alba) a tha a’ dol tron Phàrlamaid an-dràsta, agus tha mi uamhasach deònach coinneachadh ris na buill sin mu dheidhinn nam puingean a th’ aca. Tha mi gu math deònach èisteachd ri duine sam bith a tha ag iarraidh am bile sin a leasachadh.

          Following is the simultaneous interpretation:

          It is a pleasure for me that the Scottish Parliament has recognised the anniversary of the Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005, which was important for the Gaelic language and for Scotland. I congratulate Angus MacDonald on leading the debate and I am glad that progress is being made on the language in Falkirk. I have listened intently to the comments made by all those who have contributed to this interesting debate.

          I am pleased to see that Gaelic continues to have cross-party support in the chamber. As Angus MacDonald said, the Labour-Lib Dem Government took the 2005 act through Parliament and Mary Scanlon was correct to say that growth in Gaelic broadcasting and TV began under the auspices of a Tory Government. We should continue to work together to ensure a bright and sustainable future for the language.

          Our minority and indigenous languages are important to us. I am thinking about Scots, which members were correct to talk about. I am sure that many members of the public do not realise that 10 indigenous languages are spoken today in the British isles and believe that we are a nation of monoglots. That is far from the case: people the length and breadth of these islands are using indigenous languages other than English to communicate with friends, family, teachers, colleagues and public services. The fact that they are in the minority does not mean that they do not exist.

          The good news is that it is difficult for people in Scotland to ignore our languages. They are all around us, and at some stage every Scot will have to notice them. They are in our song, our poetry, our history, our place names and our politics. In fact, I suspect that, in what is supposed to be an increasingly monoglot 21st century, there are actually more opportunities than ever before to see, hear and read about our languages in Scotland. Our languages are an undeniable element of our heritage, and it is right that they should be seen and heard.

          The Gaelic Language (Scotland) Act 2005 has been important for Gaelic for a number of reasons. First, the legislation gave us an important statement of equal respect with the English language, and that should not be forgotten. It made Gaelic a national language of Scotland, and it made an important statement about the past and future identity of our country.

          The legislation also gave us the first statutory body with the function of supporting and developing the Gaelic language: Bòrd na Gàidhlig. The legislation gave Bòrd na Gàidhlig powers and duties to ask public bodies to prepare Gaelic language plans, and it was equally important in helping Scottish public life focus on how to support the language.

          Jean Urquhart spoke about the negativity in some quarters. Gaelic language plans have been important in getting us to where we are today. Without those plans we would not have seen the same level of awareness of the language, nor would we have seen the level of operations and services through the medium of Gaelic that those public bodies provide. In the case of local authorities’ plans, we would not have seen such progress in supporting the development and growth of Gaelic education at all levels.

          There has been a great deal of progress in the support for Gaelic in recent years from the arts, broadcasting, culture and education. In media and broadcasting, we have seen good Gaelic broadcasts. We have seen the success of MG Alba, working in partnership with the BBC. The partnership has achieved much in a short time and has enriched the broadcasting landscape in Scotland. The activities of BBC Alba have helped to support the economy, with more than £9 million going directly to the local companies that are involved in the production of programming.

          In education, we have seen good growth in the number of pupils entering primary 1, from 386 in 2007 to 556 in 2014. As a result of support from the Gaelic schools capital fund, we have witnessed the expansion of Gaelic-medium education across Scotland as Gaelic schools and units open or expand, including those at Aberfeldy, Bowmore, Cumbernauld, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Fort William, Glenurquhart, Inverness, Irvine, Kilmarnock, Oban and Portree. Education is key to the future of the language—without it, we will not see the numbers coming through to legitimately secure the future of Gaelic.

          I will mention one or two of the points that members raised regarding the Education (Scotland) Bill that is going through Parliament. I am very happy to meet those members to discuss the points that they made, and I am willing to listen to any points made about the bill and its development.

        • Mary Scanlon:

          I am a member of the Education and Culture Committee, and I would welcome it if the minister would explain why an entitlement to Gaelic education that was promised in the SNP manifesto has now become an explanation of the administrative process that is used for a parental request for Gaelic.

        • Dr Allan:

          The process is important. Over many years, there has been a question about how parents pursue the matter if the community perhaps wants to see a Gaelic unit, but the local authority does not. It is a step forward that we have a bill that establishes a process, and evidence—in many cases, I think that the evidence would be incontrovertible—of the demand that exists for Gaelic-medium education in the community.

          As I mentioned, I am more than happy to meet the member to talk about any idea that she may have for improvements to the bill.

          Tha sinn mothachail gu bheil duilgheadasan ann agus gu bheil mòran ri dhèanamh gus seasmhachd a thoirt don Ghàidhlig san àm ri teachd. Mar a bha Mìcheal Russell ag ràdh, chan eil e math gu leòr gu bheil a’ Ghàidhlig ann, feumaidh a’ Ghàidhlig a bhith air a cleachdadh. Feumaidh siostam foghlaim sam bith luchd-teagaisg agus goireasan cho math ’s a ghabhas airson gun soirbhich leis. Tha sinn ro mhothachail gu bheil feum againn air barrachd luchd-teagaisg ann am foghlam Gàidhlig. Tha seo fhathast na dhùbhlan romhainn mus tig leudachadh, agus ann an cuid de dh’àiteachan airson an suidheachadh a ghlèidheadh mar a tha e an-dràsta.

          Tha e riatanach gum faigh neach sam bith a tha airson teagasg ann am foghlam Gàidhlig cothrom na fèinne seo a dhèanamh agus mar sin feumaidh sinn na slighean trèanaidh a leudachadh. ’S ann air an adhbhar seo a tha dealas againn cumail oirnn ag obrachadh cuide ri Bòrd na Gàidhlig, oilthighean, ùghdarrasan ionadail agus buidhnean eile gus taic agus goireasan a thoirt do chothroman teagaisg aig gach ìre, airson na feuman uile a choileanadh.

          Feumaidh sinn cuideachd obrachadh cuide ri coimhearsnachdan Gàidhlig air feadh Alba, a’ dèanamh cinnteach gum bi a’ Ghàidhlig air a cleachdadh ann am beatha làitheil. Chunnaic mi nam choimhearsnachd fhèin luchd-labhairt na Gàidhlig nach bruidhneadh sa Ghàidhlig ri clann a tha ag ionnsachadh a’ chànan. Tha e cudthromach gum faigh sinn a-mach carson a tha seo a’ tachairt.

          Chithear Gàidhlig an-diugh sa h-uile àite, bho fhoghlam Gàidhlig nar sgoiltean agus soidhnichean ann an stèiseanan-rèile, gu na duaisean brìgheil aig FilmG. Tha gnìomhachas soirbheachail againn a-nis sna meadhanan Gàidhlig.

          Airson luchd-labhairt òg na Gàidhlig,’s e saoghal eadar-dhealaichte a th’ ann. Ged a tha dùbhlain fhathast romhainn, tha sinn air tòrr a dhèanamh sna deich bliadhna a dh’fhalbh, agus leanaidh seo sna bliadhnaichean ri tighinn. Tha tòrr ann ri dhèanamh airson na Gàidhlig, mar a thuirt tòrr dhaoine, ach tha cothrom ann an-diugh airson meal a naidheachd a chur air a h-uile duine a bha a’ strì agus a tha fhathast a’ strì airson a’ chànain againn. Tapadh leibh.

          Following is the simultaneous interpretation.

          We are aware that there are difficulties, and that there is much still to be done to secure the future of Gaelic. As Mike Russell said, it is not good enough that Gaelic is still here—it must be used. In any education system, there must be the best teaching staff and resources in order to help it to succeed. We are all too aware of the necessity to grow teacher numbers in Gaelic education. That remains a hurdle to expansion and, in some cases, to the status quo.

          It is essential that those who want to teach in Gaelic education are afforded the opportunities to do so. Therefore, we must increase the routes into training. We are committed to continuing our work with the board, universities, local authorities and others to ensure that opportunities into education, at all levels, are supported and resourced to meet the needs of all those involved.

          We need to work with Gaelic communities across Scotland to ensure that the language is used in everyday life. I have witnessed in my own community Gaelic speakers refusing to speak in Gaelic to children who are learning the language. We must work at getting to the root of why that happens.

          We can celebrate Gaelic everywhere, from increasing the learning of Gaelic in schools and signage in railway stations to the vibrant FilmG awards. We have a thriving Gaelic media industry. For young Gaelic speakers, it is a different world.

          Gaelic has its challenges, but we have moved on in the past 10 years. As members have said, there is a lot still to be done, but the debate is an opportunity to congratulate everyone who has striven for the success of the language.

          Meeting closed at 17:52.